Tay Za rescued, German embassy blocks staff

Powerful Burmese business tycoon Tay Za has been rescued from the mountainous far-north Kachin state where his helicopter was forced to crash land on Monday

A Burmese government official told AFP today that the wealthy airline owner and his crew were rescued by a team in a Thai helicopter, who took him to the northern town of Putao.

They had been travelling on tourism-related business when their aircraft was forced to land due to bad weather.

The rescue comes as four of the tycoon’s colleagues in his Htoo Trading Company were told by the German embassy in Rangoon that they could not attend the looming International Tourism Expo being held in Berlin from 9 to 13 March.

Tay Za is on EU and US sanctions lists, which extend to staff working for his various businesses. The four were reportedly forced to obtain the visas from an Italian national operating a tourism business in Burma.

The tycoon owns a string of luxury hotels and Burmese airline Air Bagan, and was described by the US Treasury as “a notorious regime henchman and arms dealer”.

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