UK and US blacklist Myanmar shipping line

Image: Wikipedia.

Myanma Five Star Line to be sanctioned.

The UK and US have imposed sanctions on the Myanmar government-controlled Myanma Five Star Line, reports TradeWinds. The move follows the military-led coup in February that ousted the democratically elected Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Both countries have blacklisted Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL), the company that owns Myanma Five Star Line, saying it is controlled by the Myanmar government.

Myanma Economic Holdings is highly diversified and US analysts say the company is a “vast and secretive conglomerate” that the military junta uses to enrich itself and maintain power.

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on 25th March: “Today’s sanctions target the military’s financial interests to help drain the sources of finance for their campaigns of repression against civilians.”

MEHL owns 14 ships, nearly all of them small, aging cargo ships and Myanma Five Star Line is listed as the owner and manager of the fleet. According to the US, MEHL is involved in trade, logistics, banking, construction, tourism, agriculture, tobacco, food, and beverages.

The human rights organisation, Justice for Myanmar, has identified Major General Khin Maung Than as the director of MEHL. He is also the head of military procurement.

Since the military re-took control of the country there have been nationwide protests, hundreds have been killed and the country has been put in a state of emergency.

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