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US sanctions regime officials and Military affiliated cronies in Burma on One-Year anniversary of military coup

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: Today, on the one-year anniversary of the brutal military coup d’etat of Burma’s democratically elected government, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating seven individuals and two entities connected to Burma’s military regime pursuant to Executive Order (E.O) 14014. These designations are part of a joint action with the United Kingdom and Canada, who are each designating two Burmese government officials.

On February 1, 2021, the Burmese military regime launched a coup d’état against the democratically elected government and civilian government leaders. The military sought to suppress the will of the people of Burma as conveyed in November 2020 general elections and undermined the country’s democratic transition and rule of law. Over the past year, Burma’s military regime has attempted to consolidate power by spreading fear among Burma’s pro-democracy movement and the population at large; killing vast numbers of innocent people, including children; and targeting political opposition leaders and peaceful demonstrators. Further, the regime’s control over resources and complete lack of transparency contribute to significant corruption in the country. 

“One year after the coup, the United States, along with allies in the United Kingdom and Canada, stands with the people of Burma as they seek freedom and democracy,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “We will continue to target those responsible for the coup and ongoing violence, enablers of the regime’s brutal repression, and their financial supporters.”

GOVERNMENT OF BURMA OFFICIALS

The following three individuals are connected to Burma’s military regime. They are being designated for being foreign persons who are or were leaders or officials of the Government of Burma on or after February 2, 2021:

Thida Oo is the Union Attorney General. The Attorney General’s Office, under Thida Oo’s leadership, crafted the regime’s politically motivated charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint, and other pro-democracy leaders, undermining the rule of law and Burma’s democratic institutions.

Tun Tun Oo is the Chief Justice of Burma’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, under Tun Tun Oo’s leadership, has been involved in the regime’s prosecution of Aung San Suu Kyi and other pro-democracy leaders, undermining the rule of law and Burma’s democratic institutions.

Tin Oo is the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The ACC, under Tin Oo’s leadership, has brought spurious corruption charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and other former civilian government officials to remove them and the National League for Democracy (NLD) as a political force.

SUPPORT TO BURMA’S MILITARY REGIME

Financial Support

The following individual and entity have provided financial support to Burma’s military regime. They are being designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order:

KT Services & Logistics Company Limited (KTSL) has operated the TMT Port in Yangon, Burma since 2016. It leases the port from the Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL) for $3 million a year. MEHL was designated on March 25, 2021 pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being owned or controlled by the military or security forces of Burma.

Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung is the CEO of KT Group and the Director of the KT Group subsidiary, KTSL

Military Equipment Support

The following individual and entity have provided arms and equipment to Burma’s military regime. They are being designated for operating in the defense sector of the Burmese economy.

The Directorate of Procurement of the Commander-In-Chief of Defense Services (Army) is being designated for operating in the defense sector of the Burmese economy. The Directorate of Procurement of the Commander-In-Chief of Defense Services (Army) is responsible for the purchase of arms and equipment from around the world for use by the Burmese military.

Tay Za is being designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for operating in the defense sector of the Burmese economy. Tay Za is the owner of multiple companies known to provide equipment and services, including arms, to the Burmese military and was a member of a May 2021 high-ranking Burmese military delegation to Russia, led by General Maung Maung Kyaw — an individual designated on February 22, 2021, for being a foreign person who is or was a leader or official of the military or security forces of Burma.

Family Members

The following individuals are the adult sons of Tay Za. Separately, each holds leadership positions within businesses that are closely associated with Tay Za.

Htoo Htet Tay Za and Pye Phyo Tay Za, who are instrumental to Tay Za’s business dealings with the Burmese military, are being designated for being adult children of Tay Za.

BURMA BUSINESS ADVISORY

On January 26, 2022, the U.S. government issued a business advisory to inform the public of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma due to increasing military control over the economy, “Risks and Considerations for Businesses and Individuals with Exposure to Entities Responsible for Undermining Democratic Processes, Facilitating Corruption, and Committing Human Rights Abuses in Burma (Myanmar).”

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, pursuant to E.O. 14014, all property and interests in property of the persons named above that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

U.S. sanctions need not be permanent.  Sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior.  Consistent with the findings of Treasury’s Sanctions Review, the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 14014 who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order and disassociate themselves from the military-led government in Burma.

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