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Casino financiers have been moving out of Macao in recent years, initially into Cambodia and later along Thailand's borders with Laos and Myanmar, creating countless unregulated operations beyond any rule of law.    © Photo illustration by Nakako Shiotsuki
Asia Insight

Chinese underworld floods to Thailand-Myanmar river border

Macao squeeze spawns new gambling and trafficking hubs akin to 'penal colonies'

DOMINIC FAULDER, Nikkei Asia associate editor | Thailand

MAE SOT, Thailand -- "Thailand and Myanmar are friendly and close neighbors separated only by a strip of water," proclaims Hong Kong-based Yatai International Holding Group in a Facebook video promoting its purported contribution to a China-Thailand-Myanmar economic corridor.

Along that strip, the Moei River, Shwe Kokko Yatai New City has been conceived as a fantastic $15 billion city of the future. Development is well underway in Myanmar's malarial and strife-torn Karen (Kayin) state, where ethnic Karen forces continue a grinding insurgency against the central government that dates from 1948.

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