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Khun Sa
Warlord and Heroin Kingpin
In   1967,   Khun   Sa   was   riding   high.   At   age   33,   the   charismatic   Burmese   warlord   had   trafficked   in   opium   on   his own   for   a   mere   three   years,   but   he   had   been   busy   consolidating   power,   grabbing   territory,   commanding   an   army of   about   2,000   men,   and   garnering   the   loyalty   and   respect   of   the   hill   tribes   of   his   native   Shan   State   in   Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle region. Khun   Sa’s   rapid   rise,   however,   put   him   in   conflict   with   the   powerful   Kuomintang   of   China   (KMT),   the   remnants   of the   military   forces   defeated   by   the   Chinese   Communists   under   Mao   Tse-Tung.   The   KMT   was   forced   to   flee   to Burma   (present   day   Myanmar)   in   1949. The   KMT   was   also   heavily   into   drug   trafficking,   and   it   viewed   the   upstart Khun Sa as a dangerous rival. What   became   known   as   the   Opium   War   heated   up   when   the   KMT   ambushed   Khun   Sa’s   caravan   about   50   miles outside   Ban   Khwan   on   the   Mekong   River.      Six   bombers   from   the   Laotian   air   force   dumped   500-pound   bombs   on both   the   Khun   Sa   forces   and   the   KMT.   Then   General   Rattikone   arrived   on   the   scene   with   his   government   force, but to the surprise of both Khun Sa and the KMT, the general’s forces attacked both sides and took the opium.
About The Author 
A   native   of Thunder   Bay,   Canada,   and   based   in   Rock   Hill,   South   Carolina,   Ron   Chepesiuk   is   an   optioned   screen - writer,   award-winning   author,   documentary   producer   and   director,   publisher   ( www.strategicmediabooks.com ), and   radio   host   ( www.artistfirst.com/crimebeat.htm ).      He   has   published   thirty-five   books   and   more   than   4,000 articles that have appeared in 350 plus magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times  and USA Today . He   is   a   two-time   Fulbright   Scholar   to   Bangladesh   and   Indonesia,   a   consultant   to   the   History   Channel’s   Gangland TV   series   and   a   former   instructor   in   UCLA's   Extension   Journalism   program.   Three   of   his   books   have   been optioned   for   movies.   His   documentary   on   the   Frank   Matthews   story   has   been   licensed   for   viewing   by   the   Discov - ery    Channel .        Ron’s    scripts    have    placed     in    the    finals    of    the    Philadelphia    International    Film    Festival,    the Charleston International Film Festival and the Harlem International Film Festival. He   has   appeared   as   an   expert   interviewee   on   several   crime   shows   airing   on   History,   Biography,   Discovery,   ID, Starz and other cable channels.
Warlord and Heroin Kingpin

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