Mobile operator Mytel, trading under the company Telecom International Myanmar Company Limited, is a key pillar in the Myanmar military’s business network providing revenue, technology and surveillance capabilities.
Telecom International Myanmar shareholders are the military conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation, Vietnam Ministry of National Defence-owned Viettel Global Investment and Myanmar National Telecom Holdings.
A Justice For Myanmar investigation based on leaked documents found that Mytel has aggressively recruited members of the Myanmar military through the “Banner of Victory” campaign, in which Mytel staff worked with base commanders to sign up military personnel with customised phone numbers that include an individual’s military ID number.
State officials and business leaders were also incentivised to sign up to Mytel through generous promotions, including ones that previously targeted the State Counsellor and ministers.
As Justice For Myanmar has documented, Mytel works in partnership with the Myanmar Army’s Directorate of Signals and builds infrastructure on military bases.
The company’s biggest shareholder, Viettel, is a high-tech arms manufacturer that is involved in tech transfer with the Myanmar military.
According to an analysis of a Myanmar Investment Commission proposal, released by Distributed Denial of Secrets, the Myanmar military is projected to earn over US$700 million in ten years from Mytel, which will finance continued war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “There is now extensive evidence of the complicity of Mytel in the Myanmar military’s international crimes.
“Mytel is putting the lives of Myanmar people at risk through the provision of revenue, technology and surveillance capabilities for the Myanmar military, which is a terrorist organisation.
“The people of Myanmar have taken a clear stand by boycotting Mytel and all other military products. It is time for international governments to hear the voices of Myanmar and designate Telecom International Myanmar for sanctions.
“More than 1,900 people have been murdered by the Myanmar military since the attempted coup, including children, and over 11,000 are languishing in detention, where torture is routine, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
“The Myanmar military’s crimes are enabled by their business interests and action is needed now to stop the flow of funds to the military junta and its conglomerates.
“The Myanmar military cartel must be dismantled.”
Mytel provides the Myanmar military with dangerous surveillance capabilities over their own troops.
Since the illegal attempted military coup, courageous people’s soldiers and police have joined the civil disobedience movement, taking huge personal risk to leave the terrorist Myanmar military.
The Myanmar military can track the communications and location of these soldiers and police.
Justice For Myanmar urges military personnel joining the Civil Disobedience Movement to not discuss plans on the phone and destroy their SIM cards before defecting.
See Justice For Myanmar’s web feature on customer recruitment and surveillance, Leaking military secrets for profit
See Justice For Myanmar’s web feature, Boycott and coup attempt cost Mytel USD$24.9 million in three months
See Justice For Myanmar’s web feature, How hundreds of millions of dollars from Mytel subscribers will flow to military generals
See Justice For Myanmar’s report, Nodes of Corruption, Lines of Abuse: How Mytel, Viettel and a global network of businesses support the international crimes of the Myanmar military