Army generals at military conglomerate being questioned following corruption scandal: sources

At least three generals are being questioned in relation to a probe into corruption allegations against ex-junta member Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun

Multiple generals who hold leadership positions at the military conglomerate Myanma Economic Holding Limited (MEHL) are being questioned by junta investigators following the corruption scandal of Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun earlier this month, two sources told Myanmar Now.

According to a source who is close to the officers at MEHL, at least three generals in charge of the fuel and cooking oil departments and of Lann Pyi Marine’s Bo Aung Kyaw Terminal—one of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries in shipping and terminal services—are being investigated in relation to the probe into the allegations against  Moe Myint Tun. 

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has fired Moe Myint Tun, a member of the military council, and appointed Gen Mya Tun Oo to his chairmanships of several key economic supervisory bodies. The general, who is the minister for transport and communications, is also one of the junta’s five deputy prime ministers.

Moe Myint Tun headed the regime’s Foreign Investment Commission, Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee, and Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods. 

The lieutenant general has been under investigation since early September, following the arrest of scores of businesspeople, including fuel and cooking oil traders who allegedly bribed him, as well as his subordinate, Brig-Gen Yan Naung Soe, a joint secretary of the Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods. The committee is chiefly responsible for procuring US dollars for export and import licensing purposes and various other commercial transactions.

The inside source told Myanmar Now on Wednesday that Yu Lwin, the chief executive officer of Myawaddy Bank—a subsidiary of MEHL—was also being questioned in relation to Moe Myint Tun’s scandal. Yu Lwin also sits on MEHL’s board of directors. 

Further details about and the identities of the other MEHL officers being questioned were not known at the time of reporting. MEHL’s general manager, Hla Myo, denied that his bosses were being investigated. 

Another source who is close to both the regime’s cabinet and several key businesspeople confirmed that the questioning was ongoing.

MEHL was founded by the military in 1990 as the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings. In addition to imports and exports, it operates companies that dominate Myanmar’s transportation, mining, alcohol, beverage, and cigarette industries.

Besides Moe Myint Tun and Yu Lwin, MEHL’s current directors include the military’s Judge Advocate General Lt-Gen Myo Thant Naing, Adjutant General of Armed Forces Lt-Gen Soe Min Oo, Chief of Staff of Air Force Lt-Gen Zaw Win Myint, Chief of Staff of Navy Lt-Gen Zwe Win Myint as well as Lt-Gen Hsan Oo.

MEHL and another military-owned conglomerate, the Myanmar Economic Corporation, were described in a 2019 UN fact-finding report as “two of Myanmar’s most opaque enterprises.” The entities control a vast network of lucrative businesses that channel profits for the military. 

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