Kokang Defense Forces led by Lao-sit Han

       Lao-sit Han started serving in the defense forces of Kokang Sawbwa at the age of 14-15. He dabbled in business in 1958 and later engaged in opium trade. He was arrested in 1963 while transporting about 1600 kg of opium by cars from Kokang to Mong Tong. He resumed his activities in the Kokang area after he was released from prison in 1965. Lao-sit Han then became the leader of the defense forces set up to suppress the armed insurgency of jimmy Yang's group, which Was active in the Kokang area at that time. Lao-sit Han succeeded in bringing these armed insurgents to the legal fold through fighting and persuasion, except Jimmy Yang and about 30 followers who went to the Thai side of the border. Lao-sit Han retired from the Kokang defense forces after the armed insurgency was quelled, but he was again asked by the Government to set up a defense force with about 150 personnel when jimmy Yang's assistant who had earlier surrendered went back underground with his followers.

       Some of these armed groups joined Lao-sit Han and his strength grew steadily. After he had garnered more than 1000 armed personnel in his group he started selling opium produced from Kokang area in Tachileik to cover the cost of the upkeep of his forces. In this way, Lao-sit Han's group had managed to sell more than 3200 kg of opium yearly from 1967 to 1972. Other armed groups were also actively engaged in opium trafficking and smuggling of jade, gemstones and illicit arms. Consequently, in 1973, the Government ordered these defense forces to disband and surrender their arms. However, only a faction of Kokang defense forces comprising about 130 armed personnel surrendered to the Government with arms numbering 150. Lao-sit Han and group refused to hand over the arms and went underground in April 1973. The underground Kokang group joined forces with the Shan State Army (SSA) Shan insurgents and maintained links with the underground Loimaw group and Kuomintang forces. All the groups continued to engage in opium trafficking and gems smuggling.

       Tatmadaw made continuous offensive attacks against the insurgent forces and because of these continuous attacks, Lao-sit Han crossed the border and went into Thai territory. On 13 July 1973, Thai police apprehended Lao-sit Han along with another armed insurgent and handed them over to the Myanmar Government on 2 August 1973. The Government took legal action against Lao-sit Han and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although Jimmy Yang's group and Lao-sit Han's defense forces were no more active in the Kokang region, production and trafficking of opium went on unabated as the remaining Kokang insurgents continued to engage in this activity with the collaboration of BCP insurgents. BCP continued to dominate the opium trafficking in the Kokang region until its collapse in 1989.