February 2, 2023

US, UK, and Canada impose new sanctions to mark the two-year anniversary of Burma’s military coup

The US, UK and Canada imposed new sanctions just a day before the two-year anniversary of the violent overthrow of Burma’s democratically elected government by its military on February 1, 2021.

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the designation of six individuals and three entities associated with Burma’s military regime.  Among the designees is the Union Election Commission (“UEC”), the constitutionally-mandated body in charge of election procedures in Burma; the UEC oversaw new voting after the rejection of Burma’s November 2020 democratic election results.  Sanctions were also imposed upon three Burmese energy officials, targeting a sector that, according to OFAC, generates over $1 billion in annual revenue and is the largest sources of foreign currency for Burma’s military regime.  OFAC also targeted Burma’s mineral sector, including two entities that are fully owned by Burma’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

All OFAC designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14014, targeting leaders and officials of the Government of Burma after February 2, 2021, political subdivisions and instrumentaliies of the Government of Burma, and those responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Burma.  In addition, one individual was designated for his relationship as the adult child of a person whose interests in property was blocked pursuant to EO 14014.  As a result of these 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.

The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation also sanctioned two individuals and two entities under The Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulation 2021 (SI 2021/496), to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Myanmar military coup.  All of the newly-listed persons are associated with the Asia Sun Group, which is integral to Myanmar’s aviation fuel industry and supplies fuel to the Myanmar Air Force. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office reports that the Myanmar Air Force has engaged in an air bombing campaign that has resulted in the killing of thousands of civilians in Myanmar and the displacement of hundreds of thousands others.  Among those sanctioned are the Asia Sun Trading Company Limited and the Cargo Link Company Limited for their involvement in the transfer of aviation fuel to the Myanmar Air Force and the resulting contribution to the repression of Myanmar’s civilian population.  As a result of these sanctions, all newly-listed persons are subject to an asset freeze in the United Kingdom.

Department of Treasury Press Release | UK Government Press Release | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice