UK hits Myanmar tycoon Tay Za with sanctions for supporting coup regime 

The UK government on Thursday announced new sanctions against Myanmar tycoon Tay Za and his businesses for providing arms and financial support to the military.

Tay Za owns the Htoo Group of Companies and his business empire includes banks, airlines and hotels. The 57-year-old is one of the richest people in the country. He helped supply arms to the former junta led by Than Shwe and is infamous for his illegal logging activities.

Britain’s government said it will freeze all assets held by Tay Za and his companies and ban him from entering the country. The sanctions will also prevent others from providing funds or economic resources to the tycoon. 

A UN fact finding mission in 2019 said that Tay Za helped to fund the 2017 military campaign against the Rohingya, which has been labelled genocide.

“U Tay Za is associated with the military through his extensive links with the former and current junta regimes and has provided support for serious human rights violations in his role in assisting the military to procure arms,” the UK’s foeign office said in its statement.

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the new sanctions came as “the military junta has shown no signs of halting its brutal attack on the people of Myanmar.”

“The UK will continue to restrict the junta’s access to finance and the supply of arms used to kill innocents, including children, and target those who support the junta’s actions,” he added. 

The UK has imposed several rounds of sanctions since the coup, targeting top military officials, the military’s business interests, and members of the coup regime. 

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