UK sanctions Myanmar businessman, his companies

Attribution: Wikipedia Commons

U Tay Za, his business empire Htoo Group ‘contributed funds’ for 2017 anti-Rohingya operations, says UK government

LONDON (AA) – The British government on Thursday announced new targeted sanctions against a Myanmar businessman and his conglomerate.

Businessman U Tay Za and his business empire Htoo Group “contributed funds to the 2017 Rohingya clearance operations in Rakhine,” read a government statement.

“U Tay Za is associated with the military through his extensive links with the former and current junta regimes and has provided support for serious human rights violations in his role in assisting the military to procure arms,” it added.

The sanctions “target a key business associate of the military junta, and his network of companies for providing financial support and arms to the military.”

“This move follows sanctions on senior Myanmar military officers and their associated businesses following February’s military coup,” the UK government said.

“The military junta has shown no signs of halting its brutal attack on the people of Myanmar,” UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

“Along with our partners, the UK will continue to restrict the junta’s access to finance and the supply of arms used to kill innocents, including children, and target those who support the junta’s actions.”

The new sanctions will be enforced with immediate effect and “freeze all UK assets held by Htoo Group and U Tay Za, as well as banning the business tycoon from entering the UK.”

“Sanctions will also block others from providing funds or economic resources to both those designated,” the statement said.

Citing “election fraud,” Myanmar’s military ousted the government of the National League for Democracy party on Feb. 1, detaining top leaders including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

​​​​​​​The coup has led to months of protests and a mass civil disobedience movement, which has been met by the use of brutal force by the junta.

More than 1,040 people have been killed and over 7,700 arrested by Myanmar security forces since the power grab, according to local watchdog Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.​​​​​​​

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