Junta links focus on the sale of the Australian company’s mine in Myanmar

Sydney Morning Herald and Age in March revealed that WMM was born shortly before the merger with ASX-listed Myanmar Metals from a company called Asia World, whose leaders have previously been banned from entering the United States due to suspected drug trafficking and their ties to Myanmar’s senior generals.

Asia World’s founder Lo Hsing Han, a Chinese-Burmese business magnate and drug lord branded “Heroin’s Godfather”, was a key supporter of the military before his death in 2013 and his son Steven Law, who is still in charge of the company, has also been accused of laundering money. to Tatmadaw, as the military is known.

Asia World owner Steven Law speaks at an event in Yangon 2016.Credit:Asia World

Law has no role with the Bawdwin mine, but two of the project’s directors, WMM owners U Muang Kyay and U Than Myint, were Asia World directors.

It is these directors’ previous association with a junta-supporting operation that has led activists to ask questions about where the money from the sale and the project will go.

Myanmar Metal’s CEO John Lamb did not respond on Wednesday, but said last month that the sale represented a return of 75 percent of his investment in the country, a result he described as “a good result given the circumstances and compared to reported outcomes from others. companies leaving Myanmar positions ”.

In July, the company turned down a $ 48.57 million (A66.5 million) takeover bid from a Chinese conglomerate, Yintai Gold.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance confirmed the AusNCP’s receipt of the complaint against Myanmar Metals on Tuesday. The Agency has no authority to impose sanctions on companies, but publishes its results publicly after assessing complaints.

“The AusNCP will assess the complaint against the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in accordance with our complaint procedures,” said the Finance Minister’s spokesman.

At the same time, violence in Myanmar is escalating, especially in remote corners of the country, and it seems to be intensifying.

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