Myanmar’s ‘Godfather of Heroin’ dies, bounty on successor

Lo Hsing Han connections
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Branded the “Godfather of Heroin” by the US government, the notorious drug kingpin and shadowy business tycoon Lo Hsing Han died at his home in Yangon on July 6 in his mid-70s. The cause of death has yet to be reported.

For decades, the international community pinned down Lo Hsing Han as the world’s largest trafficker of heroin. He was slapped with financial sanctions by the US government in 2008 for allegedly helping to prop up Myanmar’s former military regime through his web of illegal business activities, a coterie that likely was present to show their respects.

Mr Lo began his career in drug trade in the 1960s when Myanmar’s then-dictator Ne Win offered him a top position in a local militia to fight off communist rebels, allowing him to engage in the trafficking of opium and heroin, according to Bertil Lintner, author of The Golden Triangle Opium Trade: An Overview.

In 1992, Lo Hsing Han and his son Stephen Law founded the conglomerate Asia World, allegedly as a front for their ongoing dealings in the drug trade, the author said. They quickly became two of Myanmar’s biggest business tycoons, helping prop up the military junta, winning contracts to run ports, build highways and oversee airports.

Today opium farmers in the Shan state make Myanmar the world’s second largest producer of heroin.

The trade of opium has been on a steady rise over the past six years, growing by 17 per cent in 2012 alone. according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Meanwhile, the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board has set a five-million-baht ($122,000) bounty on Chaiwat Pornsakulpaisal, or Lt Col Yi Sae, one of Lo Hsing Han’s successors and members of his drug ring, operating from the Myanmar border town of Tachilek.

Yi Sae is seen as the “Godfather of Methamphetamine”, a popular narcotic substance sold in Thailand and bordering countries as “yaba”. These pills are produced in hidden jungle laboratories in northeastern Myanmar and the business is flourishing as never before.



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[caption id="attachment_12096" align="alignleft" width="300"] Click to enlarge[/caption] Branded the “Godfather of Heroin” by the US government, the notorious drug kingpin and shadowy business tycoon Lo Hsing Han died at his home in Yangon on July 6 in his mid-70s. The cause of death has yet to be reported. For decades, the international community pinned down Lo Hsing Han as the world’s largest trafficker of heroin. He was slapped with financial sanctions by the US government in 2008 for allegedly helping to prop up Myanmar’s former military regime through his web of illegal business activities, a coterie that likely was present...

Lo Hsing Han connections
Click to enlarge

Branded the “Godfather of Heroin” by the US government, the notorious drug kingpin and shadowy business tycoon Lo Hsing Han died at his home in Yangon on July 6 in his mid-70s. The cause of death has yet to be reported.

For decades, the international community pinned down Lo Hsing Han as the world’s largest trafficker of heroin. He was slapped with financial sanctions by the US government in 2008 for allegedly helping to prop up Myanmar’s former military regime through his web of illegal business activities, a coterie that likely was present to show their respects.

Mr Lo began his career in drug trade in the 1960s when Myanmar’s then-dictator Ne Win offered him a top position in a local militia to fight off communist rebels, allowing him to engage in the trafficking of opium and heroin, according to Bertil Lintner, author of The Golden Triangle Opium Trade: An Overview.

In 1992, Lo Hsing Han and his son Stephen Law founded the conglomerate Asia World, allegedly as a front for their ongoing dealings in the drug trade, the author said. They quickly became two of Myanmar’s biggest business tycoons, helping prop up the military junta, winning contracts to run ports, build highways and oversee airports.

Today opium farmers in the Shan state make Myanmar the world’s second largest producer of heroin.

The trade of opium has been on a steady rise over the past six years, growing by 17 per cent in 2012 alone. according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Meanwhile, the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board has set a five-million-baht ($122,000) bounty on Chaiwat Pornsakulpaisal, or Lt Col Yi Sae, one of Lo Hsing Han’s successors and members of his drug ring, operating from the Myanmar border town of Tachilek.

Yi Sae is seen as the “Godfather of Methamphetamine”, a popular narcotic substance sold in Thailand and bordering countries as “yaba”. These pills are produced in hidden jungle laboratories in northeastern Myanmar and the business is flourishing as never before.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

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