Thailand has cut electricity supplies to a Myanmar border township home to a billion-dollar Chinese-backed development that analysts say is a front for illegal gambling and online scam operations.
Thai authorities halted the power to Shwe Kokko in Myanmar’s Karen state from midnight Monday-Tuesday, police chief of Maesod district Monsak Kaew-on told AFP.
The electricity was cut after a contract for the Thai side to supply the town ended without the Myanmar junta renewing it, he added.
Many areas along Myanmar’s lawless eastern border are awash with Chinese investment, including in casinos, mines and logging.
The sprawling Shwe Kokko complex houses hotels and casinos targeting Chinese customers and is run by the Border Guard Force (BGF), a military-aligned ethnic militia.
A spokesman for the BGF could not be reached for comment by AFP.
Shwe Kokko’s main backer is a Chinese national named She Zhijiang, according to a 2020 report by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).