JFM welcomes latest Canadian, EU and UK sanctions on the Myanmar junta and its associates, and calls for further measures to end mass atrocities

December 12th, 2023  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  4 minute read
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December 12, 2023

Justice For Myanmar welcomes the latest sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and its associates, as it intensifies its war of terror against the people, and calls on governments to urgently step up and better coordinate sanctions.

The latest sanctions come as the junta continues to lose territory and control, almost three years after launching an illegal coup attempt.

On December 11, the EU sanctioned the entities Star Sapphire Group of Companies and Royal Shune Lei Company Limited, which are both suppliers of arms and equipment to the Myanmar military, aiding and abetting its international crimes.

Star Sapphire Group of Companies is a crony conglomerate closely associated with the family of Min Aung Hlaing, whose children’s assets were caught in a Thai drug raid against Star Sapphire Group’s founder, Tun Min Latt. Tun Min Latt is currently in custody in Thailand on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

Royal Shune Lei Company Limited is an arms broker for the Myanmar military that has been sanctioned for the first time. Justice For Myanmar previously highlighted its links to the sale of arms and dual use goods from Russia and Serbia. The company may have also brokered the sale of arms from North Korea to the Myanmar military in 2022, according to reports.

The EU also sanctioned members of the junta’s State Administration Council, Nyo Saw, Wunna Maung Lwin and Hmu Htan, as well as the commander of the military’s Eastern Command, Hla Moe.

Nyo Saw is a major player in the junta’s cartel, having been chairperson of Myanmar Economic Corporation and a member of the junta’s Foreign Exchange Supervision Committee.

On December 8, the UK sanctioned Colonel Chit Thu, whose legal name is San Myint, and his associates Saw Min Min Oo and She Zhijiang (also written as She Zhi Jiang). San Myint leads the Karen Border Guard Force, a militia under Myanmar military command in Karen State. Min Min Oo is a colonel in the same militia and plays a key role in the militia’s corrupt business dealings, which include illegal casinos and cyber slavery compounds. She Zhijiang, a Chinese fugitive who obtained Cambodian citizenship, is their business associate and led the Yatai project in Shwe Kokko with the Karen Border Guard Force up until his arrest in Thailand in 2022 after an extradition request by Chinese authorities. All three have been sanctioned for the first time.

Also on December 8, Canada for the second time sanctioned the war criminal, Min Aung Hlaing, who is responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and is leading the military’s coup attempt. He was designated under the country’s Magnitsky Law, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act. Canada also sanctioned Min Aung Hlaing on February 18, 2021 under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “These latest sanctions are welcome as a further step in blocking the Myanmar military junta’s sources of funds and arms, which it needs to continue its war of terror against the people.

“It is also welcome that the UK has sanctioned key individuals in the Karen Border Guard Force network, who, under Myanmar military command, are responsible for grave human rights violations and crimes that include human trafficking, the enslavement of victims in cyber scam compounds, the operation of illegal casinos and money laundering.

“The Myanmar military junta is at the apex of these criminal networks, and the threat they pose to the ASEAN region and beyond cannot be eradicated until the Myanmar military cartel is dismantled and there is federal democracy.

“However, the pace of sanctions has so far been too slow compared to the unprecedented crisis on the ground. Far more needs to be done urgently to cut the junta’s sources of arms and funds. We call on governments to step up and better coordinate for further sanctions and for justice and accountability.”

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