Karen leader reopens border crossings

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TAK, Nov 14 – An ethnic army which closed the Thai-Myanmar border earlier this week has reopened the checkpoints, allowing trade to resume and local residents to cross.

The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army ( DKBA) reopened Thai-Myanmar border crossings in Tak’s Phop Phra and Umphang districts after Thai immigration police released two of the Karen leader’s nieces who were detained for illegal entry to Thailand.

However, legal action was taken against their driver for facilitating illegal entry.

The border closure was in response to the detention of two of Karen leader Maj-Gen Na Kham Mwe nieces.

The two women were travelling by car from Myawaddy to and area opposite Phop Phra district on the Mae Sot-Umphang Road when they were detained by Thai police at a checkpoint.

The four passengers in the vehicle were  the general’s mother-in-law, his aunt and two nieces, none of whom had travel documents. The Thai authorities detained the two nieces, but released his 70-year-old mother-in-law and his aunt.

Gen Na Kham Mwe is number five on Thailand’s most wanted list of drug kingpins. He earlier ordered his forces to close 15 border crossings to ban Thai nationals and vehicles from entering Thai side, but does not ban Myanmar nationals from entering the Thai side.