Three Laotian ethnic arrested trespassing on Chinese mining Gold land leased in Laos


SUAB HMONG NEWS (04/19/2020) — The follow information taken from Radio Free Asia on the recent incident involved three Hmong arrested by the Laos authority at Phapon village in Luang Prabang province, Laos.

Authorities in Laos’ Luang Prabang province arrested three rural villagers for trespassing after they tried to mine gold on land granted in a concession to a Chinese company, RFA has learned.

The villagers, from Phapon village in Luang Prabang’s Pak Ou district, were initially detained by Chinese employees of the Thian Chin Huakjan-Lao mining company. The Lao authorities arrived later to take them in. They were accused of illegally mining gold on the concession land.

“Three Hmong people stole gold from the cave,” an employee of the company, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told RFA’s Lao Service Thursday, identifying the suspects as members of the large ethnic minority group.

“We don’t know if they will be released or just fined. It depends on the district authorities to make that decision,” the employee said.

A village official told RFA that while they were aware of the situation, the coronavirus emergency has made it difficult to assist the detained villagers.

“I heard about the [three] having done that, but I couldn’t do anything to help them right now because of the lockdown,” said the official.

Local media reports say that the three were fined five million kip (U.S. $557) each in exchange for their releases, but RFA was not able to confirm that they were released.