Tay Za, founder of Htoo Group of Companies, is one of the richest men in Myanmar. This is easy to believe when you stand in front of his neoclassical mansion in Yangon with sports cars bedazzling the driveway, watch him blow cash at the Marina Bay Sands Casino, or visit his luxury beachside resort in western Myanmar where holidaymakers—undisturbed by bombs and munitions the military is using to murder and mutilate people in other parts of the country—sip cocktails on land the military stole.
Tay Za’s success—and that of his sprawling business empire—relies on his close ties and kickbacks to the Myanmar military. He funnels foreign currency, arms and Mi17 and MiG-29 Russian aircraft to the military, and gets lucrative deals and concessions in return.
These days, Tay Za spends much of his time at his lavish three-story villa on Sentosa Island in Singapore, where he operates at least seventeen businesses that support the Myanmar military as it continues to inflict mass-suffering on the people of Myanmar. Many countries have put sanctions on Tay Za and Htoo Group of companies, but Singapore continues to roll out the welcome mat for this dirty businessperson.