By Wang Qi, Sina English
Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu arrived Thursday in Chiang Saen, Thailand where 13 Chinese sailors were slain last October, for an inspection tour, despite threats from the notorious Naw Kham gang.
The remnants of Naw Kham gang, which is charged with murdering 13 Chinese sailors, had threatened to take revenge on the Chinese police, according to Thai security officials accompanying the Chinese inspection delegation.
The Thai officials spoke highly of the Chinese government officials, who came to inspect the “Golden Triangle” area, regardless of high security risks.
Meng Jianzhu made the inspection tour following his visits to Laos, Myanmar and Bangkok of Thailand, during which the three countries pledged to make joint efforts to promote security and law enforcement cooperation in order to safeguard the volatile area.
“As more and more Chinese citizens go abroad, the Chinese government must protect them.” Meng said, “Criminals in the Mekong case must be brought to justice in accordance with law.”
Under the security cooperation joint launched by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, main perpetrator of the Mekong case Naw Kham has been arrested and extradited to China for investigation. The next step is for Thailand to submit the case to its court. Meng said police of both countries have almost got to the bottom of the case and the Thai side planned to put the case on trial in August.
Pansiri Prapawat, Thailand's deputy police chief, said 109 witnesses were interviewed over the gruesome murder, according to a report on the website of English newspaper Bangkok Post.
The sailors were on two cargo ships when they were attacked by armed men on October 5. Besides, Thai police have issued arrest warrants for nine soldiers over suspected involvement in the murder of 13 Chinese sailors. They will face two counts of accusations: murdering and hiding the bodies of the Chinese sailors.
Thailand’s army commander echoed that the army will not shield the nine soldiers from punishment if they are proved guilty so as to give people of both China and Thailand a satisfactory answer.
After inspecting the site where the appalling Mekong tragedy took place, Minister Meng visited the Mekong River coordinating center for preventing and cracking down on crimes.
He stressed again that he expected the case could soon be put on trial in order to punish the criminals, bring justice to victims and deepen security cooperation of the countries concerned.