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Myanmar arrests alleged Chinese scammers, former MP

Police in northern Myanmar have arrested 10 phone and internet fraud suspects and sent them to China, the Chinese embassy in Yangon announced. 

Six of those arrested on Tuesday night are accused of being ringleaders of the scam operation, the embassy’s statement said. 

They include Bai Suocheng, a former chairman of Myanmar’s Kokang region, his son Bai Yingcang, Wai Huairen, Liu Zhengxiang, Liu Zhengmauk and Xu Laofa. They have since been handed over to China, the embassy said. 

Bai Suocheng and his son were among 10 people named in arrest warrants issued on Dec. 10 by China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Bai Suocheng is a former member of parliament for the junta’s Union Solidarity and Development Party and a close friend of regime leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, according to political analyst Than Soe Naing, who added that Suocheng was trusted by the junta.

“Bai Suocheng was mainly working on scamming businesses in Kokang’s economy and China demanded his arrest when this scamming increased. The junta had to carry it out,” he told Radio Free Asia. 

“When China issued a warrant, the military junta immediately brought him back to Naypyidaw and gave him security. However, China intervened to stop the fighting in the northern Shan state, so the junta could not deny them and gave China what they wanted.”

The Chinese embassy statement called the operation “another significant success in law enforcement cooperation between China and Myanmar.”

On Jan. 23, more than 1,000 Chinese nationals were arrested in Shan state’s Namhsan for alleged connection to scam centers.

About 44,000 people suspected of committing crimes have been handed over to China as a result of joint police action against online fraud in northern Myanmar, the statement continued. This number includes investors and gang leaders.

As of Wednesday, the military had not released any information on the joint operation. RFA contacted regime spokesperson Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, but he did not respond by the time of publication.

Translated by RFA  Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.