Thailand May Ban Mekong Massacre Movie

  • Film depicts massacre of Chinese sailors along the Mekong River in 2011.
  • Thailand’s prime minister said the film would be banned if its content is “damaging.”
  • The CEO of Bona Film Group said at a press conference he expected the film to earn in excess of RMB 1 billion.

Thailand is considering banning a new Hong Kong action film that re-enacts the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in 2011, according to The Bangkok Post.

Operation Mekong (湄公河行动), which debuts this Friday, September 30 in China, will be banned in Thailand if it is found to “damage” the country, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Tuesday.

“I have ordered authorities to check the content of Operation Mekong. If it is damaging, it will be banned,” Prayut said according to the paper.

The film, directed by Dante Lam, tells the story of the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai in 2011 by a notorious Myanmar drug kingpin.

Naw Kham, the prime suspect in the case, blamed Thai soldiers for the murders during his trial in China in 2013.

Thai officials discovered the gruesome murder scene in October that year after boarding two cargo ships that had come under gunfire.

They found nearly 1 million amphetamines and 12 dead bodies that had been dumped in the river, most of whom were found blindfolded and handcuffed.

A Mekong River gang was arrested after a joint police operation between China, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar and were executed by lethal injection in the Chinese city of Kunming in 2013.

After blaming Thai soldiers, Naw Kham later pleaded guilty to the charges, before changing his plea again at the appeal hearing, according to Chinese state media reports.

The Chinese court concluded that the gang had colluded with Thai soldiers in the attack on the cargo ships.

The film’s director Lam told Chinese media he prepared for three years, interviewing anti-drug police, and touring the areas along the Mekong to interview local residents.

“We wanted to do justice to the victims,” Lam said in a trailer released earlier.

The film, which stars Eddie Peng, Zhang Hanyu, and Jonathan Wu (Chen Baoguo), will debut on the eve of China’s seven-day National Day holiday this Friday.

Yu Dong, CEO of Bona Film Group, which produced the film, said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday he expected the film to earn in excess of RMB 1 billion.