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Xian Yanming, deputy director of the Yunnan provincial public security bureau, said the prosecution argued that Nor Kham colluded with renegade Thai soldiers in premeditated attacks on Chinese ships.

“Kham’s group would hijack Chinese cargo ships, conceal drugs on board to frame the crew and then send them into Thai waters to make it appear that the authorities had uncovered a major drug-related case and killed the ‘drug traffickers,’” he told the China Daily.

“Meanwhile, Kham’s drug-trafficking ships would have unimpeded passage through Thai waters.”

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung praised the cooperation between Thai and Chinese police and prosecutors.

“We have worked closely with Chinese authorities in this case and provided all evidence to the Chinese side,” he said.