Singapore-based Companies Procuring Arms For Burmese Regime
By Network Media Group
Thursday, February 16, 2022
A covert group of activists has found that Singapore allows companies to import weapons to the regime-appointed State Administration Council (SAC) in Burma.
Justice For Myanmar reports that the island city-state has allowed foreigners to open offices to transfer and receive money through its banking systems for the procurement of weapons. “To prevent the free flow of arms to the Burmese regime, the world must immediately impose an arms embargo on Burma,” says spokesperson Ma Yadana Maung.
According to Justice For Myanmar, the International Gateways Group of Companies Ltd (IGG), the Myanmar Consultancy Co.,Ltd and the Myanmar New Era Trading Co.,Ltd are buying millions of US dollars worth of arms and other military supplies for the army. Gateways Hongkong Co.,Ltd, a subsidiary of IGG, purchased $8 million worth of accessories for the regime’s fighter jets in the 2015-2016 financial year.
The group reported that of the 18 key people running these companies, four belong to the same family. All 18 have offices in Singapore to facilitate the arms deals with various international arms companies.
Dr Naing Htut Aung played a key role in buying weapons for the Burmese air force and navy from China through his company IGG. He’s very close to the war criminal Min Aung Hlaing, who is the regime leader and army chief, as well as the other senior military brass.
“We, Justice For Myanmar, want foreign governments to sanction individuals and companies working for the Burma Army (BA),” Ma Yadana Maung told NMG.
According to Import Genius, which collects data on global imports and exports, Myanmar Consultancy Co.,Ltd bought weapons for the BA after the coup. Between 2016 and 2017, the company bought $3.7 million worth of weapons for the Burmese navy.
“The BA has targeted civilians with airstrikes and continued its military operations in ethnic regions, forcing many people to relocate. At the same time, many women were raped by Burmese soldiers,” says Ma Yadana Maung.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 400,000 people have been displaced since the coup. The regime has continued to block humanitarian aid to civilians affected by the fighting and to attack health workers and volunteers. Since the fall of the democratic government, the junta’s armed forces has killed more than 1,500 people and arrested more than 11,000.