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Treasury Sanctions Military Cronies and Companies in Burma Three Years after Military Coup

Treasury Sanctions Military Cronies and Companies in Burma Three Years after Military Coup

The United States Sanctions Burma Military Regime Supporters 

 

WASHINGTON — Today, marking the three-year anniversary of the military coup in Burma, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating two entities closely associated with Burma’s military regime, as well as four cronies, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014. OFAC has coordinated this sanctions action to include individuals and entities that were previously designated by Canada’ on October 31, 2023. 

On February 1, 2021, Burma’s military forces overthrew the democratically elected government and removed the civilian government leaders from power.  Over the past three years, the military has continuously used violence and terror to oppress the people of Burma and deny them the ability to freely choose their own leaders. Despite international pressure for the cessation of attacks in civilian areas, Burma’s military regime has continued to use its military aircraft to conduct aerial bombings.  To carry out these attacks, Burma’s military has relied on a broad network of companies and individuals that provide material and financial support to the regime.  

“Today’s action emphasizes our commitment to deprive Burma’s military regime of the resources it needs to conduct its attacks against its own people,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.  “The United States, along with our allies and partners, will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from, and provide support for, the violent oppression of the people of Burma.”  

SUPPORTERS OF BURMA’S MILITARY ENTERPRISES 

Today’s action targets two entities that maintain relationship with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), which was designated by OFAC on March 25, 2021. Through their ties to MEHL, these entities have enabled the purchase of foreign currency and the importation of petroleum and other materials on behalf the military regime. The action also targets four individuals who are closely related to the regime through their business relationships and activities.  OFAC’s actions against these companies and individuals further align our measures with those of partners and allies to disrupt the regime’s military supply chain and disrupt their ability to purchase foreign currency.  Today, OFAC is designating Shwe Byain Phyu Group of Companies, Thein Win Zaw, and Myanma Five Star Line Company Limited, which are three targets previously designated by the Government of Canada on October 31, 2023. 

Shwe Byain Phyu Group of Companies (SBPG) is a Burmese holding company established by Thein Win Zaw in 2000.  Since its establishment, SBPG has developed a historic relationship with Burma’s military to import and distribute petroleum , including on behalf of MEHL.  SBPG operates at least nine subsidiaries that are involved in petroleum, manufacturing, and logistics activities.  SBPG, through its subsidiaries, has developed a profit-sharing partnership with MEHL for and the import and distribution of fuel.   

SBPG is designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of MEHL.  

Thein Win Zaw is a Burmese national and is the chairman, founder, and owner of SBPG.  He has provided fuel to Burma’s navy while using his companies to import petroleum and share profits with MEHL.   

Thein Win Zaw is designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being, or having been, a leader or official of SBPG, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked as a result of activities related to the leader’s or official’s tenure.   

Tin Latt Min is a Burmese national that owns or controls, alongside her husband Thein Win Zaw and their adult children Theint Win Htet and Win Paing Kyaw, various companies that are closely related to the regime.   

Tin Latt Min, Theint Win Htet, and Win Paing Kyaw are designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being a spouse or adult child of Thein Win Zaw, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked under E.O. 14014.   

Thein Win Zaw and his above family members own at least 20 companies in various sectors of the Burmese economy and are also closely associated with the regime.  

Myanma Five Star Line Company Limited is a Burmese shipping company owned by MEHL that has facilitated its access to foreign currency.  Additionally, Myanma Five Star Line Company Limited is a shipping agent for the OFAC-designated Directorate of Defense Industries, and ships material essential to domestic weapons production by Burma’s military.  

Myanma Five Star Line Company Limited is designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MEHL. 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS 

As a result of today’s designations pursuant to E.O. 14014, all property and interests in property of the persons named above that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  

Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.  The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law.  The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior.  For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities designated today

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2067

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