Laos casino under suspicion over drugs trade

Events surrounding Chinese-built casino in formerly gambling-free country raise drug-trafficking concerns.


    Southeast Asia's 'Golden Triangle,' bordering Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, is notorious for its drugs trade.
     
    Production fell away after the 1970s, but now a new Chinese-built casino on the banks of the Mekong River in Laos is adding to concerns of a resurgence of the illicit trade.

    The management of King's Roman Casino say the establishment has no connections drugs, but recent events have put the building's activities under suspicion.

    Police recently found 20 sacks of methamphetamine pills, valued at $1.6m, on the compound's grounds.

    Then, last month, 13 Chinese sailors were murdered about a kilometre away. Most of the bodies were dumped in the river, bound at the wrists.

    At the time the Thai army found almost one million pills on two boats, which according to some reports, were heading to the casino.

    Then in a bizarre twist, 9 Thai soldiers were arrested for the killings. One theory is they may have been part of an escalating turf war between drug lords.

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay reports from Bokeo, Laos.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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