US widens sanctions against junta associates

Feb 26, 2008 (DVB), Three more individuals and a number of companies linked to them and Burmese tycoon Tay Za have been designated by the US Treasury Department for their links to the Burmese junta.

Steven Law (also known as Tun Myint Naing), his father Lo Hsing Han and his wife Cecilia Ng are the latest individuals to be targeted by the Treasury department's Office of Foreign Assets Control for their support of the Burmese regime.

Businesses owned by the three have also been designated.

An OFAC statement described Lo Hsing Han as a prolific drug trafficker since the 1970s, known as the "godfather of heroin", and claimed Steven Law, one of the richest people in Burma, is also involved in the trade.

OFAC also introduced further sanctions against businesses linked to Burmese tycoon Tay Za, a reportedly close associate of the junta.

In a statement announcing the sanctions, US president Bush said the situation in Burma remained "deplorable" and condemned the regime's ongoing human rights abuses of political activists and ethnic minority groups.

"The regime has rejected calls from its own people and the international community to begin a genuine dialogue with the opposition and ethnic minority groups," president Bush said.

"As one element of our policy to promote a genuine democratic transition, the US maintains targeted sanctions that focus on the assets of regime members and their cronies who grow rich while Burma's people suffer under their misrule."

A designation by the Treasury means that any assets the individuals or entities have within US jurisdiction will be frozen and US citizens are prohibited from conducting business with them.

The US has previously designated 33 individuals and 11 business entities linked to the military regime in Burma, and imposed visa restrictions on 898 Burmese officials and their family members.

Reporting by Si√¢n Thomas

Leave a reply