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Myanmar cybercrime kingpin dead, family handed over to China | #cybercrime | #infosec


The suspected head of a Myanmar-based cybercrime syndicate is dead and three relatives in Chinese custody, just days after warrants were issued in China for their arrest.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday that Ming Xuechang, also known as Myin Shaw Chang, “committed suicide for fear of punishment as the Myanmese side hunted him down on Wednesday night”.

Beijing has ramped up pressure on Myanmar’s junta to clamp down on the sprawling cybercrime industry, which has reportedly scammed and trapped hundreds of thousands of people from China.

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Ming, 69, was a member of Myanmar’s Shan State legislature and a former member of the Kokang Leadership Committee, which is backed by the junta government to rule the restive area in the northern part of Shan State.

Ming owned the infamous Crouching Tiger Villa, a large telecoms scam compound in Kokang.

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State-run Myanmar Radio and Television said Ming died while being treated in hospital for a “self-inflicted gunshot wound from his own pistol”.

Police in Myanmar also arrested Ming’s son Ming Guoping, daughter Ming Julan and granddaughter Ming Zhenzhen and handed them over to the Chinese police on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

Ming Guoping, 42, is a leader of the Kokang Border Guard Force, which operates under the command of the Myanmese military.

Police in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou offered rewards of up to 500,000 yuan (US$68,600) for information leading to the arrest of the four. Anyone helping them to evade arrest would face prosecution in China, according to the warrant issued on Sunday.

“Investigations by Chinese police have found that the gang, headed by Ming Xuechang, has long committed telecoms and online fraud targeting Chinese citizens,” Xinhua reported, citing China’s Ministry of Public Security.

“[The activities involved] a huge amount of illicit gains, and … severe violent crimes including intentional homicide, intentional injury and unlawful detention.”

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Xinhua did not give details about the alleged homicides. But The Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based news service specialising in news from Myanmar, reported that Ming killed Chinese captives who tried to flee as they were being moved to another compound on October 20.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), an armed rebel group based in Kokang, made similar claims.

The Chinese authorities have not commented on the reports.

China is also targeting the leaders of the “four big families” which control most of the casinos and cybercrime compounds in Kokang, in its efforts to crush the thriving cybercrime industry in northern Myanmar.

Liu Zhengqi, CEO of Fully Light Group, headed one of the families and was reportedly arrested by Chinese police when he travelled to Yunnan province.



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