Activist company

US sanctions Burmese company for buying junta weapons from Russia and Belarus

The United States has sanctioned a Burmese company, its founders and its leaders for buying the junta’s weapons from Russia and Belarus. Photo by Diego Azubel/EPA-EFE

October 7 (UPI) — The United States on Thursday sanctioned a Burmese company, its founders and director accused of encouraging the military junta’s ability to commit human rights abuses by supplying it with weapons from Russia and Belarus.

The Treasury Department on Thursday identified Dynasty International Company Limited, its founders – brothers Aung Moe Myint and Hlaing Moe Myint – and its director, Myo Thitsar, for sanctions following the military junta’s recent attacks on civilian populations.

“Today we are targeting support networks and war profiteers who enable the purchase of weapons for the military regime in Burma,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. communicated by referring to Myanmar by its other name.

The army, known as the Tatmadaw, took control of Myanmar on February 1, 2021, in a coup, while arresting members of its elected civilian government, including its leader, Dawn Aung San Suu Kyi, who has since been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.

Mass protests followed the coup but were met with a bloody crackdown, resulting in the deaths of nearly 2,340 people and the arrest of 15,770 others, according to figures released Thursday by the Assistance Association. to political prisoners.

In applying the sanctions, the United States cited the executions in July of well-known democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, known as Ko Jimmy, and lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw as well as Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. .

He also referred to the September 16 Tatmadaw helicopter attack on a school that killed more than a dozen people, including 11 children.

The Treasury described Aung Moe Myint as a Burmese businessman whose son is an officer in the Tatmadaw.

Since the coup, Aung Moe Myint has bought weapons for the army and used her company to procure armaments, missiles and planes.

His brother, Hlaing Moe Myint, and Thitsar were hit for their connection to the company.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday’s sanctions “implicate” Myanmar’s longstanding ties to the Belarusian and Russian military, which also invaded Ukraine on February 24 with help from Minsk.

“We will continue to use our sanctions authorities to target those in Burma and elsewhere who support Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as well as Russia’s and Belarus’ facilitation of the Burmese regime’s violence against its own people,” he said in a statement.

In a coordinated move, the State Department also named former Myanmar police chief and deputy interior minister Than Hlaing for his involvement “in gross human rights violations, namely the ‘extrajudicial execution of peaceful protesters’ following the military coup.