March 28, 2023

UK and US issue Myanmar-related sanctions to mark Myanmar Armed Forces Day

On March 27, 2023, the UK marked Myanmar Armed Forces Day with the imposition of new sanctions upon suppliers of military equipment and aviation fuel to Myanmar’s military regime in response its air force bombing campaign against the civilian population in Myanmar.  The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation also imposed asset freezes under The Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulation 2021 (SI 2021/496) upon aviation fuel supplier Shoon Energy Pte Ltd. and its current director Kin Phyu Win, for providing jet fuel to the Myanmar Air Force.  In addition, OFSI sanctioned Tun Min Latt who allegedly used his company Star Sapphire Trading Company Limited, a company previously sanctioned by the UK, to provide restricted goods or technology to Myanmar.

On March 24, 2023, in preparation for Myanmar Armed Forces Day, the US Department of The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also designated 2 individuals and 6 entities with connections to Burma/Myanmar’s military for enabling the continuing atrocities against civilians, including the recent air strikes, following the 2021 military coup that overthrew Burma/Myanmar’s democratically elected civilian government.  The designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14014 for operating in the defense sector of Burma/Myanmar’s economy, while 3 entities in particular – Asia Sun Group, Asia Sun Trading Co. Ltd., and the Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics Co. Ltd. – were designated for their involvement in the importation, storage distribution of jet fuel to Burma/Myanmar’s military.  OFAC also designated Tun Min Latt and his wife Win Min Soe, who jointly own the Star Sapphire Trading Company Limited, a company that was also designated by OFAC.  According to OFAC, Tun has ties to US-designated military regime leader Min Aung Hlaing and has utilized more than one of his Star Sapphire companies to import arms and equipment for Burma’s military.  In addition, on March 24, 2023, OFAC published the Burma Jet Fuel Sanctions Alert to warn the public of the risk of sanctions associated with provision of jet fuel to Burma/Myanmar’s military.  OFAC also amended and reissued US Burma Sanctions Regulations in order to incorporate a directive related to sovereign debt issued pursuant to the August 9, 2021 Belarus-related Executive Order, which updated definitions, general licenses, and interpretive guidance in the Regulation.

As a result of the OFAC designations, all property and interests in property of these designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

UK Goverment Press Release | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice | US Department of Treasury Press Release | US Belarus Sanctions Regulations – Final Rule