Monday, February 25, 2008

Treasury penalizes Junta's supporters : Steven Law ( Son of Lo Hsing Han " Godfather of Heroin")

အေမရိကန္ ရဲ႕ပစ္မွတ္ထဲက
ျမန္မာ့စီးပြားေရး ၀ိသမေလာဘသားမ်ား
Steven Law's Financial Network

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Myanmar over human rights abuses, on Monday announced more economic sanctions against businesses and individuals linked to the country's military leaders.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it was banning Americans from doing business with Asia World Co Ltd, a Myanmar company controlled by Steven Law and his father, Lo Hsing Han, which the Treasury described as "financial operatives" of the Myanmar regime.

The action, taken under an executive order enacted last year after Myanmar's military crackdowns against protesters, also seeks to freeze any assets the firms and individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Myanmar's junta in September crushed the biggest pro-democracy protests in nearly 20 years, killing at least 15 people.

The Treasury said Law and his father, Lo, have a history of illicit activities that have supported the Myanmar junta. It described Lo as the "Godfather of Heroin" who has been one of the world's top traffickers of the drug since the early 1970s. In 1992, Lo founded Asia World Co Ltd. a company that has received numerous lucrative government concessions, including construction of ports, highways and government facilities, the Treasury said.

Law now serves as managing director of the company, and the sanctions were extended to his wife, Cecelia Ng. The Treasury also blacklisted 10 Singapore-based companies owned by Ng, including property firm Golden Aaron Pte Ltd.

The latest round of sanction is the fourth that the Bush administration has imposed against the Myanmar government since the democracy protests last year.

"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," Stuart Levey, the Treasury's undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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