‘Burma-trained’ Chinese Serial Killer Dies in Manhunt

Zhou Kehua died from a gunshot wound on Tuesday morning. (Photo: CCTV)

With temperatures reaching 39°C, Chinese Special Forces equipped with search dogs and rifles marched through the flush and humid wilderness of Gele Mountain on the outskirts of Chongqing, China’s southwestern hub.

The local police called in the military to join efforts to catch a serial killer who is rumored to have acquired his lethal skills in Burma. Early Tuesday morning, the manhunt ended in his death by gunshot.

Zhou Kehua, a 42-year-old native of Chongqing, was one of China’s most wanted men, accused of at least nine murders in three Chinese provinces since 2004. In January, police in vain set up roadblocks around the eastern city of Nanjing in an attempt to capture Zhou after a fatal robbery. Local media reports at the time said that the robber’s weapon, a Type 54 pistol, was of Burmese origin.

Last Friday, he was filmed by security cameras shooting dead a woman and wounding two men in a robbery in his home district of Shapingba in Chongqing. Zhou also killed a 29-year old policeman who stopped him for questioning on Saturday.

The ensuing search led to the discovery of his hideout cave in Gele Mountain on the city’s outskirts. The area was cordoned off as the nation’s largest manhunt this year diverted public attention from China’s Olympic performance and raised questions on how a man with little school education could evade the nation’s security apparatus for almost a decade.

On Tuesday morning, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported that “Zhou was killed at the scene by police at Wosungou in Tongjiaqiao Village in Qinjiagang Township of Chongqing’s Shapingba District at 6:50 am.”

The Chongqing Times reported that eight policemen found Zhou’s body indicating suicide, sparking rumors that the state-run agency misreported the end of the high-profile manhunt. The local daily has since deleted this post on its microblog.

“Without efficiency from the police, China’s public security could not be guaranteed and the country would be in chaos,” wrote the Beijing-based Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece The Global Times in an editorial on Tuesday.

“Without the reform of the police system, China’s progress will be affected.”

The Ministry of Public Security had placed Zhou on its “A” wanted list, the highest level, and asked for assistance by the military to catch the serial killer. The bounty for Zhou’s capture offered by several local governments amounted to 5.4 million yuan (US $850,000) according to Xinhua.

The question of how Zhou evaded the authorities for so long and several hints in news reports including the gun of alleged Burmese origin led to speculation about training received when he lived in Burma.

Xinhua indicated that Zhou had spent time in Burma by citing unidentified sources in Chongqing. In a separate report, the news agency reported on Monday that Zhou had been jailed in 2005 in Yunnan, the Chinese province bordering Burma, for trafficking firearms, citing a local police officer.

The serial killer spent three years in Burma as a mercenary, Pu Yongjian, a Chongqing-based economics scholar, wrote in a post on his Weibo microblog, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, on Saturday. “He has real battle experience and is able to survive in the wild.” Pu also lives in Shapingba District, although his assertion could not be independently verified.

“Zhou may have had a military background, giving him skills that have proved useful in evading capture,” The Global Times speculated on Monday. Yet Police denied that Zhou has ever received training in the Chinese security apparatus in a statement carried by the Xinhua news agency on the same day.

Cross-border crime—especially the trafficking of firearms, drugs and humans—continues to flourish at the porous boundary between China’s Yunnan Province and Burma’s Kachin and northern Shan states.

Armed police roadblocks are a daily sight along the Chinese side of the frontier. “The level of violence has increased,” the deputy head of the Yunnan’s security department Yan Shangzhi said during a press conference in March.

8 Responses to ‘Burma-trained’ Chinese Serial Killer Dies in Manhunt

  1. Chinese Rambo or Burmese Rambo?

  2. We burmese never do the bad things. Please don’t insult to us this way.
    We need apology for what what you have mentioned ‘Burma-trained”.

  3. Thats great, Burma now Myanmar can train people like Zhou to protect from enemies of the ordinary people. Maybe he is a hero to all Burmese living in the border areas of Myanmar– to kill either for ones survival or for freedom and rights .

  4. How can a highly sophisticated Chinese criminal get trained in a low tech Buddhist Myanmar? He should have been trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanstan. Please leave Myanmar alone.

  5. So, send two thousand Tibetans to Burma to train to take care of Chinese who invaded Tibet for neo-colonialism.

  6. Albert said Burmese never do bad things. Ha ha ha shame on you. Your trouser is loose and your butt is out everyone can see it. You still said that your are not naked. You want to be with your notorous military leader and suck the poor peolple blood like a mosquito all the time. You can never hide your bad things even your face still smile to the world. Shame on you…

  7. Sorry my friend. Don’t mix up with the other issue. I just want to discuss this matter. I know what you mean. We are not talking about notorious military leaders in this topic. Just saying about “burma-trained”chinese serial killer. Burma low-tech than other countries. How can that be happened? Please zip up my trouser so that no can see my butt.

  8. George Than Setkyar Heine

    Isn’t he a Chinese born in China?
    Living in Burma – while on the run and only for three years as well – couldn’t make him a Rambo of course.
    This is one among many HARD EVIDENCES in VIEW that Communist China’s SECURITY SYSTEM is as CORRUPT as the Chinese cadres and that Chinese woman – wife of a high ranking Chinese Communist as well – who just killed a British businessman for his money.
    Don’t worry we will get back to the ethnic Chinese FENCE JUMPERS after we deal with the guys from Bangladesh trust me.

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