Justice For Myanmar spoofs Forbes 30 Under 30 to profile tycoons funnelling funds, arms and related equipment from Singapore to illegitimate junta
Justice For Myanmar today launched a new effort to draw attention to tycoons supporting the illegal Myanmar military junta. The inaugural Dirty Over 30 list features nine tycoons who continue to funnel funds, arms and related equipment to the junta through the “business-friendly” haven of Singapore, which is currently the third-largest supplier of arms and equipment to the Myanmar military. Future editions will feature tycoons in other regions who are enabling and profiting from the crisis in Myanmar.
The campaign is launching ahead of the 2023 ASEAN Summit in Indonesia to pressure Singapore and other ASEAN member countries to more effectively block the movement of funds and arms to the Myanmar junta.
Meet nine paragons of dirty business
The Dirty Over 30 Singapore edition includes nine businesspeople who’ve amassed sizable fortunes funding brutality, mass-murder and war crimes in Myanmar and who continue to do business in Singapore. They include:
- Tay Za, Founder and Chairperson, Htoo Group of Companies
- Naing Htut Aung, Founder and Managing Director, International Gateways Group of Companies
- Aung Hlaing Oo, Founder and Managing Director, Myanmar Chemical & Machinery Group
- Aung Moe Myint, Founder and Director, Dynasty Group of Companies
- Tun Min Latt, Founder and Managing Director, Star Sapphire Group of Companies
- Khin Phyu Win, Founder and Director, Asia Sun Group of Companies
- Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung, CEO, KT Group
- Thein Win Zaw, Founder and Chairperson, Shwe Byain Phyu Group of Companies
- George Yin Soon, Investor
The Dirty Over 30 list parodies the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Portraits of the Dirty Over 30 “dishonourees” were created using real photos and sophisticated AI facial composites. The profiles include factual details about their lives and dirty business dealings. Notably, in what has been called the “30 Under 30 pipeline to prison,” the pattern of unethical and illegal behaviour amongst “honourees” of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list suggests that the profiteers on the Dirty Over 30 list may not be outliers in the business world.
Putting pressure on the Singaporean government
The Singaporean government has already committed publicly to stopping the movement of arms to Myanmar, but so far their efforts have fallen short. A recent report from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar identifies 138 unique suppliers in Singapore doing $247 million worth of trade with the Myanmar military. The report concludes that if the Singaporean government successfully stopped all arms trading to the Myanmar military from its jurisdiction, it would “significantly disrupt” the junta’s ability to commit war crimes.
Since the coup attempt in 2021, the Myanmar military has killed at least 4,023 people, including children, committed widespread torture and has arbitrarily arrested over 24,000 people. Many have been killed through indiscriminate airstrikes that require a continued supply of aircraft parts, jet fuel and raw materials that the military needs to manufacture bombs and bullets. It has jailed and tortured countless others.
With the Dirty Over 30 project, Justice For Myanmar calls on Singapore to:
- Introduce sanctions to stop the direct and indirect transfer of arms, dual-use goods and technology to the Myanmar military.
- Block the junta’s access to Singapore’s financial system through targeted sanctions, including on junta banks.
- Expedite and make public ongoing investigations into Singaporean companies that have supplied arms, dual-use goods and technology to the Myanmar military.
- Push for more sanctions from other ASEAN countries on the Myanmar military and entities that transact business with it.
See the inaugural Dirty Over 30 here