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JFM welcomes UK and US sanctions on the Myanmar junta’s jet fuel supply chain

March 28th, 2023  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  4 minute read
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Justice For Myanmar welcomes sanctions imposed by the UK and US on subsidiaries and one individual from Asia Sun Group of Companies, to coincide with the illegal Myanmar junta’s “Armed Forces Day”.

Asia Sun Group of Companies is a key local partner of the Myanmar military junta and is involved in importing, storing and delivering jet fuel to the military.

Asia Sun’s role in the Myanmar military’s jet fuel supply chain was detailed in the Amnesty International report, Deadly Cargo, with research contributed by Justice For Myanmar.

On March 24, 2023, the US sanctioned three Myanmar-registered companies in the Asia Sun network: Asia Sun Group Company Limited, Asia Sun Trading Company Limited and Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics Company Limited.

On March 27, 2023, the UK sanctioned the Singapore-registered Shoon Energy Pte Ltd, which was formerly named Asia Sun Aviation, along with its director and sole owner, Khin Phyu Win.

Amnesty International has revealed that in December 2022, the Swiss and Singapore based Puma Energy transferred its share of National Energy Puma Asia Sun (NEPAS) to Shoon Energy. NEPAS is a joint venture with the junta controlled Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) and is responsible for the import, storage and sale of jet fuel.

Shoon Energy is the second Singapore registered company to be sanctioned following the Myanmar military’s illegal coup attempt, and further highlights the role Singapore continues to play as a base for businesses providing funds, arms and jet fuel to the Myanmar military.

The first Singapore business sanctioned since the coup attempt was Star Sapphire Group Pte Ltd, designated by the US on Friday.

In January, the UK sanctioned Asia Sun Trading, its sole director and shareholder Zaw Min Tun, former director and shareholder Win Kyaw Kyaw Aung, and Cargo Link Company Limited.

However, more action is urgently needed to stop the supply of jet fuel to the Myanmar junta, including through a total ban on jet fuel sales to Myanmar, sanctions on MPE and the extension of sanctions to all Asia Sun companies, directors and shareholders, including the key individuals May Thwe Aung and Moe Myint Aung, who remain unsanctioned.

Justice For Myanmar has documented at least 8 subsidiaries of Asia Sun Group of Companies that are directly involved in the jet fuel supply chain, and only four of these companies have been sanctioned in one or more jurisdictions. Asia Sun Group of Companies has at least 40 subsidiaries and 13 associated companies in total.

The illegal junta relies on its air force to wage a war of terror against the people of Myanmar. In the first two months of 2023, Chin Human Rights Foundation documented one airstrike per day in Chin State townships under martial law. In late February, a campaign of indiscriminate airstrikes in Karenni State killed civilians and displaced thousands.

By supplying jet fuel to the Myanmar military, Asia Sun Group of Companies is complicit in the junta’s airstrikes, which amount to atrocity crimes, and all those responsible should be held accountable under international law.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “We welcome the latest round of sanctions from the US and UK targeting the junta’s jet fuel supply chain.

“However more urgently needs to be done to stop the junta from accessing jet fuel, which enables its ongoing air attacks against the people of Myanmar.

“The US, UK, EU and Australia should follow the lead of Canada by imposing a ban on the sale of jet fuel to Myanmar.

“The US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia need to coordinate to sanction MPE and the whole Asia Sun network of companies and individuals, as well all other companies and individuals that continue to supply jet fuel to the Myanmar military.

“The junta’s procurement of arms and jet fuel is enabled by its access to funds. Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) remains the biggest source of revenue for the junta and must be targeted to disrupt the junta’s ability to maintain its campaign of terror against the people of Myanmar.

“We urge the US, UK, Canada and Australia to follow the EU and sanction MOGE immediately, as has been repeatedly demanded by civil society and the National Unity Government.

“It is concerning that Asia Sun has continued to operate in Singapore, along with many other companies supporting the junta’s international crimes.

“Recent US and UK sanctions against Singapore companies should be a wake-up call to the Singapore government to act in accordance with its international responsibilities and stop allowing Singaporean companies to support the junta.

“We note Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s recent statement committing to a prohibition on the transfer of arms and dual use goods to Myanmar, but comprehensive action needs to be seen.”

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