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Suspected Myanmar military businessman arrested in Thailand for drug trafficking

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A Myanmar businessman, who is suspected of being linked to the country’s ruling military junta, has been arrested in Bangkok. According to Reuters, three unnamed sources supplied information about his connections to the junta, after police arrested him over drug trafficking.

Thailand’s deputy police spokesperson Kissana Phathanacharoen, says they conducted an early morning raid in Bangkok last week, finding the man, Tun Min Latt, 53, and three Thai nationals to be allegedly involved in trafficking narcotics and money laundering. Kissana also noted that they seized about 200 million bahts’ worth in assets from the four men arrested.

“Police are in the process of requesting the court for pre-trial detention.”

The unnamed sources told Reuters that Tun Min Latt had business interests in hotels, mining, and energy. They then went on to say that the man is a close associate of Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. The sources say that the arrested businessman has procured supplies for the ruling junta military in the past.

Back in August, British authorities revealed that they sanctioned one of his businesses in an “effort to limit the military’s access to arms and revenue.”

In 2019, a UN document on Tun Min Latt stated that he is the son of a retired Myanmar lieutenant colonel. It also said one of the companies that he jointly owned had donated about US$72,000 to the Myanmar military back in 2017. Another unnamed source attributed the businessman’s arrest as being part of a broader crackdown by the Thai government on narcotics and money laundering in the bordering town of Tachileik in the Shan state of Myanmar.

Myanmar’s military seized power from a democratically-elected government, which saw human rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party winning. But the opposing sides claimed that the election was a sham and subsequently arrested Suu Kyi, placing her in detention. The coup came three months after the democratic election in November 2020. The junta has since sought to consolidate power by cracking down on oppositional forces, with many believing that the junta has committed human rights violations after scores of fatalities were reported.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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