Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Godfather of Heroin', 80, dies in Myanmar

09 July 2013, 13:49

Yangon - A man dubbed the "Godfather of Heroin" by the US government and slapped with financial sanctions for allegedly helping prop up Myanmar's brutal former military junta through illegal business dealings died over the weekend.

Lo Hsing Han was 80 years old.

His body lay in a glass coffin in the family home for a private ceremony on Monday, a long line of relatives, senior government officials and business leaders turning out to pay their final respects, one of the attendees told The Associated Press.

He spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect to the family.

For decades, Lo Hsing Han was considered one of the world's biggest traffickers of heroin.

In the 1990s, he and his son Stephen Law founded the conglomerate Asia World, allegedly as a front for their ongoing dealings in the drug trade, said Bertil Lintner, author of "The Golden Triangle Opium Trade: An Overview".

They quickly became two of Myanmar's most powerful business tycoons winning contracts from the junta to run ports, build highways and oversee airport operations.

Opium and heroin

The US Department of Treasury, dubbing Lo Hsing Han the "Godfather of Heroin," put both father and son on the financial sanctions list in 2008.

Lo Hsing Han first got involved in the drug trade in the 1960s.

In exchange for heading a local militia set up by then-dictator Ne Win to help fight local communists in the region of Kokang, he was granted the right to traffic opium and heroin, said Lintner.

Thai police arrested Lo Hsing Han in northern Thailand in 1973. He was handed over to the Burmese government. His initial sentence of death was commuted to life in prison, not for drug trafficking but treason.

This stemmed from a brief stint with the insurgent Shan State Army, Lintner said.

In 1980, he was released as part of a general amnesty.

An obituary announcement submitted by the family in the Burmese language Myanma Ahlin daily on Monday said his funeral would be held 17 July.

He is survived by a wife, four sons, four daughters and 16 grandchildren.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...