Daw Nang Lang Kham, the eldest daughter of prominent business tycoon U Aung Ko Win, was briefly detained by Myanmar’s military regime at Yangon International Airport on May 8.
She was preparing to leave Myanmar for Thailand on a Myanmar Airways International (MAI) flight when she was detained and questioned for two hours by Major Kyaw Myat Lin of the Office of Military Security Affairs. She is the deputy chief executive officer of Kanbawza Bank, one of the largest private financial institutions in Myanmar.
The Kanbawza (KBZ) Group of Companies, founded by her father U Aung Ko Win in 1994, manages a diverse array of business interests including mining, banking, real estate, aviation and insurance concerns.
KBZ Group is the major stakeholder in MAI and Air KBZ. It remains unclear why the regime questioned a family member of crony U Aung Ko Win, whose personal and business ties with successive military leaderships are known to be deep.
The Irrawaddy has learned that the regime has ordered that no rich persons be allowed to leave the country via Yangon International Airport. The regime later reportedly apologized for the detention of Daw Nang Lang Kham, who flew to Thailand the following day and is currently in Bangkok.
Speaking to the BBC, junta spokesman Major-General Zaw Min Tun on Tuesday denied detaining Daw Nang Lang Kham.
U Aung Ko Win has close ties with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and the two used to play golf together.
Under the now ousted National League for Democracy government, Daw Nang Lang Kham was seen together with since-deposed State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at state events, representing KBZ Group of Companies.
In April the regime detained the chairman of Eden Group of Companies, U Chit Khine, and his son U Win Min Khine and charged them with bribery.
The regime has also detained and charged one of Myanmar’s most notorious cronies, Zaykabar Co chairman U Khin Shwe, and his son U Zay Thiha.
U Khin Shwe’s s daughter is married to the son of former general and parliament speaker Thura U Shwe Mann, now the chairman of the Union Betterment Party. U Khin Shwe was a lawmaker representing the military’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party in the Upper House of Parliament between 2011 and 2016.
The regime has also reportedly asked military-linked crony U Teza, the chairman of Htoo Group of Companies, as well as Cooperatives Bank owner U Khin Maung Aye, both of whom have been living abroad, to return to Myanmar.
Another of the country’s top cronies, Ayeyarwady Bank owner U Zaw Zaw, was also briefly detained after last year’s coup. He traveled to Malaysia two weeks ago and is now back in Myanmar.