Burmese duo arrested for conspiracy to kill the UN ambassador | Burma

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Two Myanmar citizens have been arrested in New York State for plotting with an arms dealer in Thailand – who sells arms to the Burmese military – to kill or injure Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The Southern District of New York City Attorney’s Office said on Friday that Phyo Hein Htut, 28, and Ye Hein Zaw, 20, had each been charged with one count of conspiracy to assault and carry out an attack. violent action against a foreign official, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who represents Myanmar’s elected civilian government that was overthrown by the military in February, told Reuters on Wednesday that a threat had been made against him and that US authorities had stepped up his security.

The ambassador did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges. The Burmese junta sacked him in February, after calling on the international community “to use all means necessary” to take action against the Burmese army which seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

For now, however, he remains the country’s envoy to the UN because the UN has not recognized the junta.

According to the legal complaint, Phyo Hein Htut told FBI investigators that the arms dealer in Thailand contacted him online and offered him money to hire assailants to injure the ambassador and force him to resign.

If the ambassador did not resign, the arms dealer proposed that the attackers kill him, according to the complaint. Phyo Hein Htut and the arms dealer then agreed on a plan to tamper with the Ambassador’s car to cause an accident.

Ye Hein Zaw contacted Phyo Hein Htut and made two money transfers totaling $ 4,000 in late July, according to the complaint. Phyo Hein Htut told the FBI he was supposed to receive an additional $ 1,000 after the attack was over.

A volunteer security officer for the UN mission in Myanmar told the FBI on Tuesday that Phyo Hein Htut had told him about the plan to “hire a hitman to kill or injure the ambassador.”

The complaint states that Ye Hein Zaw admitted to transferring the money to Phyo Hein Htut, that he regularly sent money to others on behalf of the arms dealer and had recently booked a trip to the United States for two other people at the request of the arms dealer.

“These defendants crossed borders and oceans conceiving a violent plot against an international leader on American soil,” New York Police Department commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement.

Kyaw Moe Tun in February called on the international community “to use all means necessary” to take action against the Burmese army which seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

US lawyer Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Phyo Hein Htut and Ye Hein Zaw conspired to seriously injure or kill Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations as part of a planned attack on a foreign official who was believed to have place on American soil.

In an initial appearance in Federal Court in White Plains on Friday, Phyo Hein Htut consented to the detention. Ye Hein Zaw was awaiting a first appearance. Messages seeking comment from their lawyers were not immediately returned.

“We commend the tireless work of our law enforcement partners at all levels of government to ensure the safety of diplomats and foreign officials. “

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