US indict two Burmese citizens for conspiracy to attack UN ambassador

US indict two Burmese citizens for conspiracy to attack UN ambassador

U.S. prosecutors said they indicted two Burmese citizens over a plot to attack the country’s ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun, a staunch supporter of the democracy movement who refused orders from the military government to resign.
In a plot allegedly foiled by U.S. investigators, the couple spoke of hiring attackers to force Kyaw Moe Tun to resign or, if he refused, to kill him, officials said on Friday.

The two men “were plotting to seriously injure or kill Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations as part of a planned attack on a foreign official that was to take place on American soil,” said lawyer Audrey Strauss. of the Southern District of New York.

Jacqueline Maguire, acting deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, said law enforcement had acted “swiftly and diligently” after learning last month of the potential assassination that was planned in the county. of Westchester, a suburb north of New York.

“Our laws apply to everyone in our country, and these men will now face the consequences of allegedly breaking those laws,” she said.

Suspects Phyo Hein Htut, 28, and Ye Hein Zaw, 20, were indicted in a federal court in Westchester on charges on which they could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

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 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.

In a statement posted to social media on Saturday morning, Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said he was “horrified” to learn of the plot.

“Who was behind this outrage and who will hold them responsible?” “

Since the February 1 coup, more than 900 people have died in Myanmar as the military seeks to crush pro-democracy protests, according to a local watch group.


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