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Ex-lawmaker passes away in police custody following arrest for Myanmar scams – Radio Free Asia

A former member of parliament for Myanmar’s pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party was wanted by Chinese authorities and has died in police custody, according to junta-controlled media. Ming Xuechang, along with his son and grandson, were arrested for allegedly masterminding an online scam ring in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan state, along Myanmar’s border with China. During the arrest, Ming Xuechang was injured by a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” and later died in the hospital. His family members were handed over to Chinese authorities.

Prior to this, Chinese authorities had arrested 11 businesspeople at a trade fair in Yunnan’s Lincang township in connection to the same online scam ring. The arrests in China were believed to be related to the arrests in Myanmar. Reports also suggested that Chinese special forces entered Kokang for arrests of online fraud suspects, though these claims have not been independently verified.

In response to these activities, a joint Myanmar-China task force to eradicate online scam rings in the Laukkaing area was formed.

Authorities in Kokang have arrested thousands of foreign nationals in connection with online scams, mostly Chinese citizens. Many experts believe that these crackdowns are only the “tip of the iceberg” and that more enforcement is needed to combat online scam rings in the region.

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