Myawaddy’s Cyber Scam Operations Continue Despite Rumours of Crackdown

The sweeping crackdown by the 1027 Three Brotherhood armies in Shan State, far has not disrupted Chinese syndicates control over Shwe Kokko complex.

The major push by China and the Three Brotherhood Alliance to eliminate hubs of Chinese -run cyber-crime operations in northern Shan State has now shifted the focus to the Thai border strongholds, and widespread rumours of potential crackdowns on businesses in Myawaddy Township.

However KIC reports that near the Thailand-Myanmar border, locals say these mafia establishments continue to operate without disruption,. In spite of much speculation that authorities would take actions and make arrests since the beginning of the year, the Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) and Chinese entrepreneurs are still operating these businesses.

However given the BGF operates in partnership with Junta’s armed forces, which has long benefited from Chinese cyber-scams and casinos operating in Shwe Kokko, it is not so surprising that thy are still operating.

A local businessman told KIC, “Amid online rumours that of Zhapian operators and casino rings were about to be arrested, the reality is that Myawaddy still hosts a growing number of these Chinese-run businesses. The young security guards working for BGF are notably relaxed, earning monthly salaries ranging from 8000 to 1000 baht. In my opinion, the entire town of Myawaddy could face destruction if these businesses undergo crackdowns”, a local businessman told KIC.

A total of over 300 Zhapian businesses and online casinos are currently operating, in various areas like Shwe Kokko, Kyaukkhet, Mehtawthalay, No. 5 ward, Yepu, Kyakhattaw, Phachaukkaung, Kyangin, Okpho, and Agriculture Zone ward, a total of over 300 Zhapian businesses and online casinos are currently operating, a source close to Myawaddy Township administration said.

In late December, high-ranking generals of the Royal Thai Army and coup Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing revealed that they had engaged in an online discussion and met in Naypyidaw to coordinate effective crackdowns on Zhapian operators and casino rings along the border.

This event may have contributed to the speculation about a crackdown on Myawaddy’s nexus of cyber-crime and trafficking. However while both Thai Generals and Junta leader may claim their coordination was about a coordinated crackdown, many critics suggest this was just an empty public relations exercise.

In reality the New year’s message from 1027 leader from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) leader Peng Deren, also known as Peng Dashun, shed more credible light about the real motivations of the Junta.

In northern Shan State four “big families” ran hundreds of online scams that together had as many as 100,000 people working for them in Kokang Self-Administrative Zone’s Laukkai Town before it was attacked by the Brotherhood Alliance, Peng said.
Peng also reported that scam syndicates operating near the Chinese border in Shan State’s Kokang region were raking in more than 100 billion yuan (US$ 14 billion) annually and were run by four families affiliated with Myanmar’s military, reported Irrawaddy on January 5th.

Myanmar’s military regime used helicopters to rescue leaders of the cyber-crime syndicates from the town when it was attacked, Peng said. The Junta spokesman has denied this report .

A person who lives near the casino operated by BGF 6th Battalion, commented “”Potential actions against the Chinese business groups could result in numerous problems. We remain sceptical about the news of a crackdown becoming a reality. In Myawaddy, casinos and gambling operations are widespread, employing many young individuals. If these businesses face destruction, the entire town of Myawaddy could be at risk.”

On the Thai military side they must know these cyber-scam operations in Shwe Kokko and KK Park are being sustained by the power supply from Thai provincial electricity authorities. The Chinese scam networks are dependent on excellent telecommunications

BNI reported last year that on June 6th, Thai authorities disconnected the power supply to the Shwe Kokko and Ingyin Myaing areas. But why was it restored so soon afterwards?

Thanks to the backing of the Junta and Thailand’s supply of power, these businesses at the Thailand-Myanmar border along the Moei River continue to thrive. and remain crowded as usual, local sources reported.

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