Election 2020

Disgraced United Democratic Party Boss Faces Immigration Charges

By The Irrawaddy 23 October 2020

YANGON — The controversial leader of the disbanded United Democratic Party (UDP) has been charged under the Immigration Law on Friday after he was prosecuted under the Fugitive Act last week for his escape from prison in 1999.

The judge at Chanmyathazi Township Court in Mandalay decided Michael Kyaw Myint or Michael Hu Hua should be charged under Article 13(1) of the Immigration Law as he fled into Thailand after his prison escape and later illegally reentered from China.

The 69-year-old told the court on Friday that he left Thailand for Norway, the USA and Canada before returning to Myanmar in 2013 through Muse on the Chinese border.

The law carries jail terms of six months to five years.

Kyaw Myint has been under police detention since late last month on a fugitive warrant. Since then he has been under investigation by a special police unit.

According to the ongoing investigation, he allegedly breached Myanmar’s Anti-Money Laundering Law for receiving 16.3 billion kyats (about US$12.5 million) in 2015 via illegal money transfers in Muse, Shan State. The cash transfers were made by Chinese citizens in Ruili and Jiegao engaged in illegal transfers, according to the President’s Office in Naypyitaw.

He has not yet been charged under the law.

In addition to breaching the Money Laundering Law, he has allegedly funded the UDP with illegal transactions, a violation of the Political Party Registration Law.

As a result, the party was dissolved by the Union Election Commission last week, revoking the party’s more than 1,130 candidacies for the November 8 election.

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