REVEALED: The ASEAN governments and companies financing and arming the Myanmar military

February 17, 2022

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Key governments and businesses from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have supplied arms, funds and investments to the Myanmar military are revealed today in a new section of Justice For Myanmar’s Cartel Finance Map.

Explore the Cartel Finance Map

Complicit governments, companies and individuals

Following its attempted coup, the Myanmar military has murdered over 1,500 civilians and arrested more than 12,000 more.

Myanmar military continues its fierce airstrikes and conflict has intensified, killing hundreds more and displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians, creating a humanitarian catastrophe.

Governments, companies and individuals of ASEAN nations are directly implicated in the Myanmar military's grave human rights violations and atrocity crimes.

For example, an Indonesian state-owned enterprise, PT. Pindad, exported bullets to Myanmar in 2020. Pindad has a cooperation agreement an arms brokerage company owned by Htoo Htoo Shein Oo, the son Win Shein, of the Myanmar military junta’s planning and finance minister.

A subsidiary of Thai company, PTT Public Co. Ltd, whose majority shareholder is the Government of Thailand, is an operator and investor in multiple gas exploration projects in Myanmar.

In 2017-18, the Myanmar government received over USD$40 million for one of these gas projects alone and these funds now flow to the illegal junta.

Viettel Global, a telecommunications company owned by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, is a joint investor in mobile telephone company Mytel, alongside a Myanmar military conglomerate.

Mytel provides a major source of revenue for the Myanmar military and – and is a major source of revenue and technology for – the military.

Philippine arms manufacturing company, United Defense Manufacturing Corporation (UDMC), shipped 450 kilos of guns to Myanmar as the military launched its campaign of genocide against the Rohingya in August 2017.

A fugitive from China who hold Cambodian citizenship, She Zhi Jiang, is the main investor who controls the Yatai City project in Shwe Koko, a huge real estate, casino and entertainment development in Myanmar with its own cryptocurrency.

Yatai City is being developed as a joint venture with the Karen State Border Guard Force, a militia group under command of the Myanmar military.

The project is linked to organised crime and land confiscation, and a lucrative source of revenue for the Myanmar military and their associates.

The financial industry of Singapore is a key source of financial support. It is a financial hub for the business activities of the Myanmar military and its partners.

For example, Singapore’s stock exchange has been used by Emerging Towns & Cities Ltd (ETC) to raise funds for a property development that pays USD millions in rent to the quartermaster general’s office of Myanmar army, office tasked with the procurement of weapons.

ETC has suspended trading due to regulatory actions over payments to the quartermaster general’s office, pending independent review.

Singapore Exchange and the Monetary Authority of Singapore may be internationally liable and obliged to pay reparations for harm caused by ETC and other listed companies that are financing the Myanmar military.

Urgent Action needed from ASEAN leaders

Since the illegal coup attempt, no ASEAN country has placed sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and its businesses.

In April 2020, ASEAN leaders, with the presence of Min Aung Hlaing, reached a five-point consensus on the situation in Myanmar.

While no progress has been made towards the agreed goals, ASEAN has allowed the illegitimate Myanmar military junta to continue participate in many of its meetings and hold the rotating chairpersonship of ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “ASEAN and its member states are implicated in lining the pockets of the terrorist junta and supporting its grave crimes.

“They are not only financing the military’s crimes, but also reputation laundering for a military that kills children, rapes women and attacks displaced people with indiscriminate air strikes.

“ASEAN governments and companies must immediately end business with the military junta and its partners, and stop supplying arms and equipment to the terrorist military.

“ASEAN’s dialogue partners – Australia, Japan, South Korea, UK, Canada and EU and others – must impose targeted sanctions against the military junta, its businesses and partners and also pressure ASEAN governments to no longer fund the military.”

More information:

Access the full story on the JFM website

Explore the ASEAN Cartel Finance Map

Yadanar Maung | Justice For Myanmar | | Mirror: |

Justice For Myanmar, a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, is calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.