Lo Hsing Han, labeled as the Godfather of Heroin by the United States government died from a stroke earlier this month at 80 years of age. Lo Hsing Hang was known as one of the biggest heroin traffickers in the world for many years in addition to reportedly participating in illegal business deals that helped Myanmar’s previous oppressive military Junta. Lo Hsing Han also was a trafficker of opium and was one of the richest men in Myanmar who stood as a symbol of the warlords abilities in the country to operate without consequences.
Lo Hsing Han started small in the northern hills of Myanmar that border China and gradually climbed his way up to eventually become what the administration of President Richard Nixon referred to as the “kingpin of heroin trafficking in Southeast Asia.” Lo Hsing Han used his profits from drugs to build an empire and he also commanded 3,000 men in a militia located in the borderlands of northern Myanmar which many describe as impoverished. At the borderlands Lo Hsing Han’s militia would guard the caravans of raw opium and a various heroin refineries to make sure the drugs safely made their way to transport. Thailand is where the drugs were being sent to before being globally dispersed.
He fueled a raging epidemic, including the estimated 13.5 million people around the world who take opioids and the 9.2 million who are reported to be using heroin. In 2007 alone the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that as many as 153,000 people in the United States are heroin users, but other figures estimated by experts range from 700,000 to 900,000. Overdoses from drugs such as heroin remain to be an issue that remains to stay, with 211,000 recorded deaths related to drug related problems in 2011. Heroin along with prescription painkillers were the most commonly reported drugs responsible for deaths in 2011 as well.
The godfather of heroin at one point was even given permission to traffic drugs in exchange for helping armies punish Communist forces but after switching sides he was arrested for treason. Lo Hsing Han was taken into custody in 1973 and sentenced to life in prison. He was released after being granted amnesty in 1980 and went on to form “Asia World,” a corporate empire believed to be a front for his drug trafficking business.
Photo Courtesy of: chinaexpat
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