China sentences 4 Myanmar gang members to death for Mekong kidnappings and slayings

The Associated Press

BEIJING, China - State media say a court in southern China has sentenced four members of a Myanmar drug gang to death for kidnapping and killing 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River last year.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the men included Naw Kham, the head of a gang that used the Mekong to traffic drugs. It says Naw Kham and three members of his gang were sentenced to death Tuesday by a court in Kunming city in Yunnan province.

It said another gang member was given a suspended death sentence and one was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The court heard that the group hijacked two cargo ships in Thai territory in October 2011 and killed 13 Chinese crew members aboard the two boats.