Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mastermind Behind The Hit On Muslim Leader Ko Ni?

(Based on related articles from various Burmese sources in February 2017.)

Lt. Colonel Aung Win Khaing (45).
On 15 February 2017 – (nearly three weeks of news blackout after the assassination of Ko Ni in public at Rangoon International Airport on last January-29, and after so many unconfirmed but persistent rumours of direct involvement of third person in the hit) -- Burmese President Office has finally released a statement on that person – (A former Lt. Colonel from Burmese Army) – now a wanted fugitive as follows:

Appendix-2 of the press release of the President’s Office on the shooting at Yangon International Airport

The plan to assassinate U Ko Ni, a legal adviser for the national league for Democracy, was months in the planning and involved a gunman hired for Ks 80 million and two brothers, one of whom is still on the loose, according to a press release from President’s office.

The statement from the President’s office released late yesterday on the 29 January fatal shooting of U Ko Ni reveals a chilling murder-for-hire plot that involved intricate planning, at least Ks100 million in cash and a gunman willing to kill.

The elaborate plan, according to the President’s statement, began in July 2016, when Aung Win Khaing, a former Tatmadaw officer, offered his brother, Aung Win Zaw, Ks100 million to assassinate U Ko Ni. The motive for the killing is still unknown.

In October 2016, Aung Win Zaw travelled to Kayin State to purchase two guns and gave them to Kyi lin, the man who would fatally shoot U Ko Ni at close range outside Yangon national airport as the NlD legal adviser and well-known attorney returned from indonesia. Kyi Lin was given Ks80 million to carry out the murder, according to the press release from the President’s office.

Aung Win Zaw and Kyi Lin remain in custody. Interrogation of the pair has resulted in their confession of the assassination plot, the statement from the President’s office said. Aung Win Khaing remains at large, with authorities asking the public for any information on his whereabouts.

Following is the unofficial translation of appendix-2 of the press release by the President’s Office on the 29 January shooting at Yangon International Airport.

Republic of the Union of Myanmar
President’s Office
Press Release
15th February 2017

1. The press release 1/2017 on the close-range shooting that occurred at Yangon International Airport at about 5 pm on 29th January 2017, killing U Ko Ni, Legal Adviser to the National League for Democracy on his arrival at the airport was issued on 30th January and its appendix on 3rd February.

2. Kyi Lin, 52, who allegedly committed the murder, and Aung Win Zaw, 46, who is suspected of conspiracy to murder, have been detained. Based on information gathered during the interrogation of the two suspects, a combined team comprising members of the tatmadaw and the Myanmar Police Force are continuing their investigation into the issue in attempts to arrest other suspects who are are connected with the murder.

3. During the initial interrogation conducted on Aung Win Zaw, he confessed that his brother, Aung Win Khaing, hired him to assassinate U Ko Ni; that in July 2016, Aung Win Khaing offered him Ks100 million to murder U Ko Ni; that that he gave him Ks10 million as a deposit; that following the offer of Aung Win Khaing, he started to find anyone who could commit the murder; that firstly, he offered Aung Soe, living in Insein, and later, he terminated contact with Aung Soe, giving the reason that the diplomat who would be murdered had returned home; that around september and october 2016, Kyi Lin visited him and asked for a job, and he offered Kyi Lin from K80 million to K100 million to kill U Ko Ni and Kyi Lin replied that just a car was enough to kill U Ko Ni; that out of Ks100 million offered by Aung Win Khaing, Ks80 million was set aside to be given to Kyi Lin and the remaining Ks20 million was set aside to spend on other preparations.

4. Around 16 october 2016, Aung Win Zaw went to Hpa-an, Kayin state, to buy guns and he tried to buy a gun via friends he made when he did antique trading, giving a reason that he would like to give guns as gifts to others as he was doing gold mining in Red shan areas. He bought one 9mm pistol and 11 bullets at the cost of Ks2.5 million and one five-chambered gun and four bullets at the cost of Ks2.5 million. He spent the Ks10 million deposit from Aung Win Khaing on buying the guns and he lied that he bought the guns from Myint swe, living in Thailand.

5. On 28th January, Aung Win Khaing contacted Aung Win Zaw by phone, alerting him to be ready with the guns as U Ko Ni would arrive back by air on 29th January. Afterwards, at 9 am on 29th January, Aung Win Khaing contacted him two times and told him that he would go first to the airport. Around 1 pm, Aung Win Zaw phoned Kyi Lin, telling him to come to the airport by taxi.

When he arrived at the airport, Aung Win Khaing sent SMS messages to him and let him know the location where U Ko Ni would come out. In the messages, Aung Win Khaing said U Ko Ni “will come out from the exit for ordinary passengers, take care of CCTV, stop phone calls, delete all messages”. Afterwards, Kyi Lin shot U Ko Ni at close range. Kyi Lin was arrested by the people and the police and he managed to escape by car but was arrested quickly.

6. According to the airport’s CCTV records, it is found that Aung Win Khaing inquired about flight arrival times. Currently, the police are in hot pursuit of Aung Win Khaing. It is assumed that Aung Win Khaing, who is still at large, hired assailants to commit the crime and he had served for the tatmadaw and he quit the tatmadaw of his own volition in 2014 when he reached the rank of Lt-Col.

The combined team comprising of members of the Myanmar Police Force and the tatmadaw is investigating the case and hope to expose the crime in an attempt to arrest those who are connected with the crime, and further information would be made public.

7. Hence, the people are urged to be fully aware of religious and racial incitements, and attempts to destabilize the situation, and the people are requested to give information related to Aung Win Khaing, who is still at large, and any attempts to destabilize the situation to authorities.
Who Really Is Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing?

According to the Social Media sites Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing (aged-45) was a graduate of DSA (Defense Services Academy) and once served as the PSO of Major General Thar Aye the former Premier of Sagaing Division Government.

Thar Aye is a former member of the State Peace and Development Council (SDPC) and former Chief Minister of Sagaing Region. He is a former military officer, with the rank of Major General and previously serving as SDPC's Chief of Bureau of Special Operations 1 until a reshuffle on 27 August 2010.

Thar Aye won an uncontested seat in the Sagaing Region Hluttaw during the 2010 Burmese general election, representing Budalin Township Constituency No. 2 under the Union Solidarity and Development Party banner. He was subsequently appointed to the Chief Minister of Sagaing Divisional Region.

After leaving the army Aung Win Khaing went into business together with his big brother Aung Win Zaw and started an automobile workshop in Rangoon. He is now believed to be hiding in Burma-China border area and rumoured to be fleeing to the United States as he has close relatives (even his son studying there?) in the America.

(Following photos are of Aung Win Khaing and his black Toyota Harrier SUV from the Airport CCTV records on 29 January 2017 the date of crime.)

Did Aung Win Khaing Take The Photo Of The Hit On Ko Ni?

The online rumours are that both Aung Win Khaing and Aung Win Zaw had taken the photos of hit on Ko Ni at the Rangoon International Airport. One eye witness of the crime stated that he saw the Black Toyota Harrier similar to the car owned by Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing at the airport and he even stated that Kyi Lin ran to the car after shooting Ko Ni and bang the window glass as if he was asking to open the car door. But the black car at the kerb drove off without letting him in.

If the army officer brothers took the photo and immediately released it on the social media there must be a very good reason for that, including the day light public execution style killing of infamous Muslim leader hated by many Buddhist Burmese. They probably wanted to let fellow Buddhist Burmese know that the assassination was done for their race, religion, and nation and they have sacrificed their comfortable lives for their Buddhist Burma.

Or, maybe they just wanted to warn the Islamists -- totally hell bent on wiping Buddhism from Burma -- and their leftwing allies from the ruling NLD that unlike former military governments they are willing to take law into their hands and use extreme violence to rid of them if they dare to touch the 2008 Constitution or The Act For the Protection of Race and Religion.

Related posts at following links:
Muslim Leader Hated By Burmese Buddhists Murdered At Rangoon Airport
Burmese Buddhists' Reactions to The Killing of Hated Muslim Leader
Who Are Behind The Hit On Ko Ni At Rangoon Airport