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Coordinated Canadian, UK and US sanctions target Myanmar junta’s sources of funds, arms and jet fuel

November 3rd, 2023  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  13 minute read
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November 3, 2023

Justice For Myanmar welcomes the latest round of targeted sanctions imposed against the illegal Myanmar military junta, its cronies and arms brokers, coordinated between Canada, the UK and USA.

The sanctions, announced on October 31, 2023, were significant in targeting the junta’s sources of funds, arms, equipment, and jet fuel, but more sanctions and better coordination are needed to disrupt the junta’s ability to continue its campaign of terror against the people of Myanmar.

Priorities include full sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), sanctions on junta-controlled mining enterprises, a ban on the sale of jet fuel to Myanmar, action against banks that the junta uses to channel funds and purchase arms, and coordinated sanctions against whole networks of junta cronies and arms dealers. Details of sanctions targets are on the Justice For Myanmar website.

We remain dismayed at the lack of action by Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea to impose sanctions in response to the military’s coup attempt and ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and urge these countries to act now. Many of the latest sanctions targets maintain business links to Singapore. We call on the Singaporean government to do more to block the junta’s access to funds, arms, equipment and jet fuel.

Since the military’s illegal coup attempt, more than 4,100 people have been killed by the junta and over 25,000 arrested. In the face of mass, nationwide resistance to its coup attempt by the people of Myanmar, the junta has intensified indiscriminate aerial attacks, shelling, mass arbitrary arrests, torture, rape, the destruction of whole communities and forced displacement.

International action needs to be ramped up urgently to stop the junta’s atrocities and support the Myanmar people’s struggle for federal democracy.

Sanctions imposed this week that target the junta’s sources of funds, arms, equipment and jet fuel, along with previous designations that remain in force, include:

Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE): A state-owned enterprise illegally controlled by the junta and targeted by the USA for the first time with a directive against the direct and indirect provision of financial services, which will go into force on December 15. This follows a sustained campaign by Myanmar people, civil society and allies.

The financial services directive is an important step to disrupt the flow of funds to the junta but falls short of full sanctions that would freeze MOGE’s assets and block all trade with the junta-controlled state-owned enterprise.

MOGE was previously sanctioned by the EU.

Mining Enterprise No. 1 (ME1) and Mining Enterprise No. 2 (ME2): State-owned enterprises illegally controlled by the junta and sanctioned by Canada. ME1 and ME2 monopolise the mining sector, receive a share of revenue from private mining companies, and funnel large amounts of revenue to the junta.

ME1 and ME2 were previously sanctioned by the USA and EU.

International Group of Entrepreneur Services Company Limited (IGE): A crony company sanctioned by the UK for its business with the Myanmar military, which is a subsidiary of International Group of Entrepreneur Company Limited. IGE Group is a crony conglomerate led by Ne Aung, the son of former junta minister Aung Thaung and brother of junta navy chief Moe Aung. IGE has deep business links with the military, including through the Lotte Hotel, developed on land leased from the Office of the Quartermaster General of the Myanmar Army, as reported by Justice For Myanmar.

IGE Group has at least three companies that remain registered in Singapore: IGE Pte Ltd, UNOG Pte Ltd and IPL Pte Ltd.

International Group of Entrepreneur Company Limited was previously sanctioned by the EU.

Shwe Byain Phyu Group and Thein Win Zaw: Shwe Byain Phyu Group is a crony conglomerate founded by Thein Win Zaw, who is the group’s chairperson. Both were sanctioned by Canada. Shwe Byain Phyu bought Telenor Myanmar, renamed ATOM Myanmar, providing the junta with enhanced surveillance capabilities and access to personal data. Justice For Myanmar has exposed the business interests of Shwe Byain Phyu Group and Thein Win Zaw.

Shwe Byain Phyu has a company in Singapore, Investcom Pte Ltd, which remains registered.

Shwe Byain Phyu Group and Thein Win Zaw have been sanctioned for the first time.

Star Sapphire Group of Companies, Star Sapphire Trading Company Limited, Tun Min Latt and Win Min Soe: All sanctioned by Canada, the group has multiple businesses that generate funds for the Myanmar military, including a casino, a hotel and mining. Star Sapphire Group of Companies and its subsidiary, Star Sapphire Trading, has been a key supplier of arms and equipment to the Myanmar military from Israel and China in particular. The group is owned by Tun Min Latt and Win Min Soe, who are a married couple and are close associates of junta head Min Aung Hlaing and his children. Tun Min Latt is in custody in Thailand on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Star Sapphire Group’s business with the Myanmar military and links with Min Aung Hlaing’s family have been exposed by Justice For Myanmar.

Star Sapphire group has a company in Singapore, Star Sapphire Group Pte Ltd, which remains registered.

Star Sapphire Group of Companies and Tun Min Latt were previously sanctioned by the UK and USA. The USA also previously sanctioned Star Sapphire Trading Company Limited and Win Min Soe.

Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics Company Limited and Khin Phyu Win: Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics (formerly Cargo Link Pongrawe Logistics Company Limited), sanctioned by Canada, is part of the Shoon group of companies (formerly Asia Sun). Shoon group is the junta’s main partner in the import, storage and distribution of jet fuel. The group is led by Khin Phyu Win, also sanctioned by Canada. Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics is the junta’s main transporter of jet fuel to military bases and airports across Myanmar. The role of Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics and Khin Phyu Win in supply jet fuel to the Myanmar military has been exposed by Amnesty International and Justice For Myanmar.

Shoon group has three companies that remain registered in Singapore: Shoon Energy Pte Ltd, P.E.I. Energy Pte Ltd and PEIA Pte Ltd.

Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics was previously sanctioned by the US, and its parent company, Cargo Link Company Limited, was previously sanctioned by the UK. Khin Phyu Win was previously sanctioned by the USA and UK.

Canada continues to lead in measures to stop the junta’s access to jet fuel, which it needs to continue to carry out indiscriminate airstrikes. On October 31, Canada expanded its ban on the sale of jet fuel to include a prohibition on shipping insurance for the transport of jet fuel to Myanmar.

Sky Aviator Company Limited, Heli Eagle Company Limited, Sky Royal Hero Limited, Kyaw Min Oo and Myo Min Oo: Major suppliers of aviation equipment to the Myanmar military and all sanctioned by Canada, Sky Aviator is owned by Kyaw Min Oo and the linked company, Heli Eagle, is owned by Myo Min Oo, who is his brother, according to Justice For Myanmar sources. Kyaw Min Oo was also sanctioned by the UK. Since the illegal coup attempt, Sky Aviator has procured equipment from Russia and Ukraine, including YAK-130 support equipment, engines and parts. The Yak-130 is increasingly deployed by the military within populated areas, including in the catastrophic indiscriminate bombing of Pazigyi village, Kantabulu township, Sagaing Region, killing at least 168 people, including children, in the deadliest airstrike since the military’s attempted coup. Sky Aviator’s business with the Myanmar military has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

Heli Eagle and Sky Royal Hero have supplied equipment to the Myanmar military following the coup attempt, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar. Sky Aviator and Heli Eagle are both registered suppliers of the Myanmar military’s Directorate of Procurement and share phone numbers and an email address. According to the UN Special Rapporteur, Sky Royal Hero has a trading relationship with Sky Aviator.

Sky Aviator was previously sanctioned by the EU, UK and USA. Kyaw Min Oo was previously sanctioned by the USA and EU. Heli Eagle, Sky Royal Hero and Myo Min Oo have been sanctioned for the first time.

Myanmar New Era Trading Company Limited and Naing Htut Aung: Myanmar New Era Trading is a significant supplier of aircraft parts for the Myanmar military from Russia that was sanctioned by Canada. Import data confirms the company’s procurement for the military of parts for Mi-17 (Mi-8M) helicopters from Russia between 2017 and 2020. The Mi- 17 helicopter is frequently used by the junta in its commission of war crimes, including in the 16 September 2022 attack on Let Yet Kone village when the junta indiscriminately bombed a school and a monastery. Myanmar New Era Trading Company Limited is part of the network of International Gateways Group, a major arms broker led by Naing Htut Aung, who was also sanctioned by Canada. Myanmar New Era Trading and the International Gateways Group network has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar.

There are at least two companies in Naing Htut Aung’s network that remain registered in Singapore: Global Polytech Resources Pte Ltd and Xinshidai Company Pte. Ltd.

Myanmar New Era Trading was previously sanctioned by the UK. Naing Htut Aung was previously sanctioned by the USA and EU.

Miya Win International: A private arms broker and sanctioned by Canada, Miya Win International has procured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and parts from Austria’s Schiebel Corporation, including after the military’s coup attempt. In addition, Miya Win International has played a key role in the military’s deal with the Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries, a Chinese-owned company with a facility in Canada, to set up local assembly and production of DART-450 aerial reconnaissance aircraft in Myanmar. Evidence of Miya Win International’s business with Schiebel Corporation and Diamond Aircraft Industries has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar.

Miya Win International was previously sanctioned by the UK.

Creative Exploration Limited: An arms broker sanctioned by Canada that has imported fuses from India to the Myanmar military, including since the attempted coup, which has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar. Creative Exploration was formerly known as My Space or mySpace. The company has also imported digital forensics technology from the USA.

Creative Exploration Limited has been sanctioned for the first time.

Life and Challenge Company Limited: A supplier of technology, equipment and training to the Myanmar military and its police that was sanctioned by Canada. In 2018, Life and Challenge was awarded a contract to design and deliver a radar capability development program for the Myanmar military. Life and Challenge’s business with the military has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar.

Life and Challenge has a company in Singapore, LANC Pte Ltd, which remains registered.

Life and Challenge has been sanctioned for the first time.

Synpex Shwe Company Limited: An arms broker sanctioned by Canada, the company has procured material from Russia for the Myanmar Air Force following the military’s coup attempt, and is also a supplier of raw materials for the military’s domestic arms manufacturing industry. Synpex Shwe’s involvement in the supply of arms to the Myanmar military has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar.

Synpex Shwe has a company in Singapore, Synergy Tripexin Pte Lte, which remains registered.

Synpex Shwe was previously sanctioned by the UK.

Suntac Group of Companies, Suntac Technologies Company Limited, Suntac International Trading Company Limited and Sit Taing Aung: Suntac Group of Companies was sanctioned by Canada, while Suntac Technologies Company Limited and Suntac International Trading Company Limited were sanctioned by the USA for supplying equipment to the Myanmar military. Suntac Group of Companies is owned by Sit Taing Aung, who was also sanctioned by the UK. Sit Taing Aung is Mexico’s Honorary Consul to Myanmar. Sit Taing Aung and Suntac’s involvement in the procurement of aircraft parts has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, and Suntac’s involvement in the military’s arms manufacturing industry has been exposed by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar.

Sit Taing Aung was previously sanctioned by the USA, Canada and EU.

Mottama Holdings Limited and Min Dhama Steel Structures Limited: Mottama Holdings is a crony conglomerate and, together with its subsidiary, Min Dhama Steel Structures, was sanctioned by Canada. The companies supply the Myanmar military’s domestic arms industry with raw materials and machinery, as exposed by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar. Evidence received by Justice For Myanmar reveals the involvement of Min Dhama Steel Structures in importing steel for the construction of the so-called Honorary Hall of the Residence of the State Administration Council.

Mottama Holdings and Min Dhama Steel Structures have been sanctioned for the first time.

Bhone Min Myat Company Limited and Ever Meter Company Limited: The two companies sanctioned by Canada are used by the military conglomerate Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) to evade international sanctions, according to reporting by Myanmar Now. Bhone Min Myat was established after the military’s coup attempt, reportedly as a front for the MEHL subsidiary, Myawaddy Trading, and has been used to import fuel and palm oil. Ever Meter Company Limited, part of Same Sky Group of Companies, is an MEHL partner that it has used as a front for payments, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar. Ever Meter has been a long-time supplier of electricity meters for MEHL.

Bhone Min Myat and Ever Meter have been sanctioned for the first time.

Pye Phyo Tay Za and Htoo Htet Tay Za: The two sons of Tay Za were sanctioned by the UK for their involvement in Htoo Group of Companies, which has multiple businesses with the Myanmar military and its conglomerates. Htoo Htet Tay Za was also sanctioned by Canada, which had previously sanctioned Pye Phyo Tay Za. Htoo Group’s business with the Myanmar military and the role of Pye Phyo Tay Za and Htoo Htet Tay Za have been detailed by Justice For Myanmar.

The two brothers were also previously sanctioned by the USA.

Myo Thitsar: A director of the Myanmar military arms broker, Dynasty International Company Limited, who has been sanctioned by the UK. Dynasty International is a major arms broker of the Myanmar military from Belarus in particular. Among other dirty deals, the company has imported spare parts for Mi-17 helicopters. The company is led by Aung Moe Myint, who is the Honorary Consul of Belarus to Myanmar. Dynasty International’s business with the Myanmar military has been exposed by Justice For Myanmar.

Dynasty International has a company in Singapore, Dynasty Excellency Pte Ltd, which remains registered.
Myo Thitsar was previously sanctioned by the USA and Canada.

More information:

Read the US sanctions announcement here
Read the Canadian sanctions announcement here
Read the UK sanctions announcement here


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