Eight Chinese nationals were sentenced to jail terms of up to 13 years after being found guilty of weapons possession, illegal entry into Burma, and illegal possession of radio communication devices.
However, the men were not charged with murder, despite having confessed to killing their military trainer in northern Shan State’s Kokang region.
The group were caught in April after a dramatic high-velocity car chase in Tamu, near the Indian border, after they sped through a checkpoint.
According to state media, the occupants of the pick-up truck were eventually caught in possession of eight small arms, 1,860 bullets, 31 grenades, five walkie-talkies, a Burmese map labelled in Chinese, three combat knives, four mobile phones, eight military uniforms, and binoculars. One of the suspects apparently confessed they had received military training in Kokang region, but killed an officer and drove off in his car.
Burmese police chief Brig-Gen Win Khaung said the eight were sentenced on 4 July by Sagaing division’s Monywa district court.
“The group were jailed on the following charges: under the Immigration Act, for illegally entering Burma; weapons possession; and also under the Communications Act for the illegal possession of radio communication devices,” he said.
“Seven of them were sentenced to 13 years each in prison, while the remaining man received 10 years.”