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Washington − The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced economic sanctions against two key financial operatives of the Burmese regime – Steven Law (Tun Myint Naing) and his father, Lo Hsing Han – as well as Steven Law's wife, Cecilia Ng, and various companies, for providing support to the Government of Burma.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced economic sanctions against two key financial operatives of the Burmese regime – Steven Law (Tun Myint Naing) and his father, Lo Hsing Han – as well as Steven Law's wife, Cecilia Ng, and various companies, for providing support to the Government of Burma.
OFAC also announced additional financial sanctions against the business network of Tay Za, a designated Burmese business tycoon and arms dealer with close ties to Burma's military junta. This is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Administration against the Burmese junta and their inner circle, and the second action taken against Tay Za's business network this month.
"Unless the ruling junta in Burma halts the violent oppression of its people, we will continue to target those like Steven Law who sustain it and who profit corruptly because of that support," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The companies designated today include the major Burmese conglomerate Asia World Co. Ltd. and its subsidiaries, Asia World Port Management, Asia World Industries Ltd., and Asia World Light Ltd. OFAC has also identified ten companies in Singapore owned by Cecilia Ng, including Golden Aaron Pte. Ltd., the property interests of which are now blocked.
In addition to their support for the Burmese regime, Steven Law and Lo Hsing Han have a history of involvement in illicit activities. Lo Hsing Han, known as the "Godfather of Heroin," has been one of the world's key heroin traffickers dating back to the early 1970s. Steven Law joined his father's drug empire in the 1990s and has since become one of the wealthiest individuals in Burma.
Lo Hsing Han founded Asia World Co. Ltd. in 1992. His son, Steven Law, operates as the current managing director. Asia World has provided critical support to the Burmese regime and has received numerous lucrative government concessions, including the construction of ports, highways and government facilities.
Today's action also targets two Burmese hotel chains owned by designated regime henchman Tay Za: Aureum Palace Hotels & Resorts and Myanmar Treasure Resorts. Both resort chains are part of the Htoo Group of Companies, an entity designated by OFAC on February 5, 2008.
Steven Law and Lo Hsing Han are the fourth and fifth regime supporters to be targeted for financial sanctions by the Bush Administration. In October 2007, President George W. Bush sanctioned small-arms dealer and regime henchman Tay Za and his network of companies in the Annex to E.O. 13448. OFAC took aim at additional parts of Tay Za's financial network in February 2008. Also listed in the Annex to Executive Order 13448 were junta cronies Khin Shwe and Htay Myint.
Today's actions were taken pursuant to Executive Order 13448, which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to designate senior regime officials, human rights violators in Burma, persons engaged in public corruption in Burma, financial and material supporters of the Government of Burma, and spouses and dependent children of previously designated individuals. Today's designation freezes any assets the designees may have subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibits all financial and commercial transactions by any U.S. person with the designated companies and individuals. It also puts the world on notice about the financial operations of key junta associates and their companies.