Singapore resident targeted in US Myanmar sanctions

08 Feb 08

A Singapore resident is among those targeted under new U.S. sanctions aimed at an alleged “henchman” and arms dealer for the Myanmar junta.

U Kyaw Thein, 60, was named Tuesday as the U.S. imposed sanctions against individuals and businesses linked to Tay Za, citing continuing human rights violations and political repression by the Myanmar regime.

A Singaporean company, Pavo Aircraft Leasing Pte Ltd., was also named.

“We are tightening financial sanctions against Tay Za, an arms dealer and financial henchman of Burma’s repressive junta,” said Adam Szubin, director of the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

An OFAC notice identifies U Kyaw Thein as a citizen of Burma who is a permanent resident of Singapore, with an identity card issued in 2005.

A resident of U Kyaw Thein’s Singapore apartment told AFP by phone Thursday that he had gone overseas and could not be reached.

“He’s gone for some trip,” said the man, who would not give his name.

Pavo Aircraft Leasing is the latest Singapore firm to be hit by the U.S. Sanctions.

After Myanmar’s deadly suppression of Buddhist-led protests in September, President George W. Bush named three firms with offices in Singapore as among those targeted. They were Pavo Trading Pte Ltd, Air Bagan Holdings Pte Ltd. and Htoo Wood Products Pte Ltd., which is also listed as being from Myanmar’s main city, Yangon.

Pavo Aircraft Leasing is listed at the same office where the other three blacklisted firms were based.

The U.S. action freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction and bars Americans from conducting business with them at the risk of heavy fines and prison sentences.

Singapore led regional criticism of the junta’s September crackdown, but rights activists have accused the city-state of not taking economic action against the regime.

Singapore strongly denies allegations that it allows banks based here to keep illicit funds on behalf of Myanmar’s secretive generals.…

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