The European Union has not imposed sanctions on 30 companies arming Myanmar’s junta, according to rights group Justice for Myanmar (JFM).
JFM identified 31 companies, including firms with links to Europe, that have procured weapons for the regime since the 2021 coup and only the Htoo Group of Companies is facing EU sanctions.
The EU’s last round of sanctions on Myanmar was imposed seven months ago with growing numbers of indiscriminate airstrikes, shelling of civilian targets, the execution of political prisoners and child killing, JFM said.
The junta’s air and ground attack on a Depayin school on September 16, in which around 11 people were killed, was a reminder that similar acts would continue while the regime has access to arms, the group said.
Regime leader Min Aung Hlaing in 2019 marking the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the air force. / Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services
“As long as the junta has access to arms, equipment and funds, it will be able to continue its terror campaign against the people of Myanmar, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with total impunity,” JFM spokeswoman Yadanar Maung said.
“We call on the EU to stand with the people of Myanmar and sanction arms brokers now.”
Dynasty Group and its subsidiaries founded by Aung Moe Myint, KT Group, Ky-Tha Group and its subsidiaries owned by Jonathan Kyaw Thaung, Mega Hill General Trading, Miya Win International Myanmar Chemical and Machinery (MCM) run by Aung Hlaing Oo, International Gateways Group, Star Sapphire Group of Dr. Tun Min Latt, Sky Aviator and Synpex Shwe. Many of the businesses have links to the EU and all have been sanctioned by the US and UK and some face sanctions from Canada, the group said.
In mid-September, Tun Min Latt of Star Sapphire, which brokered imports of Israeli reconnaissance drones and aircraft parts, was arrested in Thailand on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Despite his well-documented arms dealing, Tun Min Latt has so far escaped international sanctions, JFM added.
“Last year, EU member states voted in the UN General Assembly to stop the flow of arms to Myanmar’s military,” Yadanar Maung said.
“The EU must take concrete steps to cut the junta’s access to arms, intensifying sanctions against arms brokers and all other business interests,” she added.
At least 2,324 civilians, including nearly 300 children, have died at the hands of the junta since last year’s coup, while over 15,600 people have been detained.