An application for a criminal investigation into the activities of the Israeli arms manufacturer CAA Industries and officials from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been filed with Israel’s Attorney General, over the suspected aiding and abetting of the Myanmar military’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The application is based on leaked shipment records showing that in July 2019, CAA Industries dispatched injection moulds and tooling used for the upgrading of the Myanmar military’s small arms, via known arms broker Star Sapphire Trading.
Star Sapphire Trading is a company ultimately controlled by Dr Tun Min Latt, a Myanmar arms broker who has been indicted on money laundering, transnational organised crime and drug trafficking charges in Thailand.
The application was filed with Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on June 6 by the advocate Eitay Mack on behalf of more than 60 Israeli citizens, among them the former speaker of the Knesset Avraham (“Avrum”) Burg, prominent academics including Prof. Daphna Golan-Agnon and Prof. Ruth HaCohen Pinczower, and human rights activists.
In addition to the complaint for a criminal investigation, a letter has been sent to Israel’s Defense Exports Controls Agency (DECA) of the Ministry of Defense demanding it immediately cancel export and marketing licences granted to CAA Industries for sales to Myanmar.
The application for a criminal investigation follows a similar 2018 submission by Eitay Mack into the aiding and abetting of atrocity crimes by Israelis who exported arms to Myanmar; a 2022 application requesting a criminal investigation into corruption over Israeli arms companies’ dealings with the Myanmar broker Dr Tun Min Latt and his conglomerate, Star Sapphire Group; and a 2023 application into the aiding and abetting of atrocity crimes by Cognyte for its sale of spyware to Myanmar.
Justice For Myanmar is concerned that the 2018 complaint has not yet led to a criminal investigation and calls for an investigation to be expedited.
Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “CAA Industries’ support for the Myanmar military’s arms industry is unconscionable, and amounts to aiding and abetting the military’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, which are continuing on a daily basis.
“The fact that this transfer took place after the Israeli government claimed to have stopped selling arms to Myanmar raises serious questions that should be urgently addressed through a criminal investigation of both CAA Industries and officials from the ministries of defence and foreign affairs for their role in the 2019 shipment of equipment to Myanmar.
“By providing moulds and tooling, CAA Industries has helped boost the military’s in-country arms production capabilities, which has lasting consequences for the people of Myanmar who are subject to daily acts of terror at the hands of the illegal junta, which is committing mass murder, indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling, torture, property destruction and forced displacement.
“Israeli officials and those in CAA Industries who have enabled the supply of arms and dual use goods and technology to the Myanmar military, aiding and abetting international crimes, must be held accountable.”
Eitay Mack, Advocate, says: “Thanks to Justice For Myanmar’s investigations, we repeatedly discover that Israeli military exports to the country did not stop, but continued in more sophisticated ways.
“This is illegal, immoral and shameful conduct by the Israeli government that approves licenses to Israeli military companies to continue doing business as usual with the murderous military in Myanmar.
“This time it is not a one-time export of weapons but equipment that enables the production of weapon parts and therefore requires ongoing licenses for export and the provision of services to the junta.
“Therefore, in addition to demanding a criminal investigation against the CAA company and the Israeli officials involved in the scandal, we also demand that the ongoing licenses granted to the CAA company be revoked.”
Read the full text of the application for a criminal investigation here
Read the full letter to DECA here
Read our feature on CAA Industries’ business in Myanmar here
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