Wai Yen Heinn

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Wai Yen Heinn, publisher and editor of the weekly newsmagazine Iron Rose, was found dead with 15 stab wounds to his chest and abdomen at his Yangon office on April 16, 2017.

News reports said Wai Yen Heinn’s body was discovered slumped in a chair after neighbors reported a strong odor coming from his first-floor office in the Yangon neighborhood of Pazundaung Township, reports said. It was not immediately clear when the murder had taken place, the reports said.

Wai Yen Heinn’s magazine had published critical cover stories on Myanmar’s former ruling military generals and their business associates, as well as a portrayal of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi that referred to her as a “drone president,” news reports said.

Police Capt. Yin Htwe said soon after the discovery of the publisher’s murder that police officials had launched an investigation into the death and that officials were awaiting the results of an autopsy.

On April 19, police arrested Aung Ko Ko, an officer for a Singapore-based shipping company, for the crime and released a statement on Facebook that said Wai Yen Heinn’s murder was not related to his critical reporting about the military, according to news reports.

The reports said that Wai Yen Heinn had a romantic affair with Aung Ko Ko’s wife, Al Ni, and that the cargo ship officer had stabbed him to death in a crime of passion. Police said Aung Ko Ko admitted to the crime, news reports said.

According to the reports, Aung Ko Ko locked his wife and son in a hotel room and called Wai Yen Heinn before arriving at his office on April 14. The reports said he also took the magazine publisher’s mobile phone from the crime scene.

He was apprehended at his parents’ home in Pyin Oo Lwin, in the country’s central Mandalay Division, according to news reports. He allegedly threw away the murdered journalist’s phone along the road during his journey from Yangon to Pyin Oo Lwin, reports said. His wife, Al Ni, was also arrested.