The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated five individuals and five entities connected to Myanmar military regime. The action comes days after the US concluded that the Myanmar military committed genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.
About 750,000 Rohingyas fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State and took shelter in Bangladesh, joining some 300,000 others who had fled earlier waves of influx. A statement of the OFAC said the military has committed atrocities and other abuses against members of other ethnic and religious minority groups for decades.
Following the February 1, 2021, coup that overthrew Myanmar's democratically elected civilian government, the military committed numerous atrocities against Myanmar people, including the violent repression of political dissent and violence against innocent people, including at pro-democracy protests during last year's Armed Forces Day that killed more than 100 people, said the statement.
"Brutality and oppression have become trademarks of the Burmese military regime's rule," said Brian E Nelson, US undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "Treasury is committed to holding accountable those who are responsible for the ongoing violence and repression. We will continue to support the people of Burma, including those who are courageously standing in opposition to the military."
Those coming under sanctions include the 66th Light Infantry Division (66 LID), a military unit based in Pyay Township, who have been accused of carrying out the Christmas Eve massacre in 2021. Other individuals include Brig-Gen Ko Ko Oo, who serves as the Commander of Central Command and the head of the Ministry of Defense's Technologies Department; Major-General Zaw Hein,
who serves as the Commander of the Nay Pyi Taw Command; Naing Htut Aung, an arms dealer who has procured equipment from Chinese companies and has strong ties to members of the Burmese military leadership. His firm International Gateways Group of Company Limited has also been sanctioned. It is owned or controlled by Naing Htut Aung.
The other one is Aung Hlaing Oo, a central figure in planning to set up a manufacturing facility in Burma with his company Myanmar Chemical & Machinery that would produce military arms and equipment in conjunction with the previously designated Directorate of Defense Industries. The company also has been sanctioned.
Sit Taing Aung, who has used his companies as fronts to broker arms deals for the Burmese military, also has been sanctioned. Htoo Group of Companies and Asia Green Development Bank Ltd have also been sanctioned as they owned or controlled, or have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly,
a person whose property and property interests are blocked, said the statement. As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the persons named above that are in the United States, or the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC, it also said.