General

Leaked Myanmar Ministry of Defence documents reveal military’s systemic corruption, business networks

Justice For Myanmar on Tuesday published data from Ministry of Defence budget documents spanning a period from the 2016-17 financial year to 2020-21 exposing the greed and corruption of the Myanmar military cartel, and its international business networks that enable the military’s continued criminal conduct.

In addition, Justice For Myanmar has published files related to the proposed purchase of two Airbus CASA C-295s, for a total of US$38,600,000, and the VIP conversion of an Airbus A319-112, formerly used by Myanmar Airways International (MAI), for US$4.8 million.

The C-295 proposal involves Airbus certified training and after-sales service.

UK-based Swire Group subsidiary HAECO Xiamen is contracted for the A319-112 conversion.

Justice For Myanmar, a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, is calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.

Budget documents detail large-scale spending without parliamentary oversight and the allocation of funds to procure items from major corporations, including Caterpillar (USA), Alcatel-Lucent (France/Finland), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Germany) and FANUC (Japan).

Data also shows the Myanmar military’s failure to disclose the bulk of their business income.

The publishers assert this is evidence of widescale misappropriation of funds from military businesses at a massive loss for the people of Myanmar.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung said the information exposes the greed and corruption of the Myanmar military cartel, and its international business networks that enable the military’s continued criminal conduct.

“We call on the Myanmar government and parliament to urgently rein in the Myanmar military’s spending until they are fully under civilian control, respect human rights, are held accountable for their crimes and abide by Myanmar and international law. All assets stolen by the Myanmar military must be returned to the people of Myanmar.”

The documents were also provided to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an international consortium of investigative journalists, which investigated some of the companies and exposed loopholes in the EU sanctions regulations. OCCRP confirmed with a Jordanian source familiar with the C-295 deal that Jordan is selling the planes, although the source did not know which country the planes are being sold to.

Yadanar Maung said domestic and international businesses that supply the Myanmar military risk aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If the C-295 purchase goes ahead, they will likely be used to carry troops to ethnic areas, supporting the military’s international crimes, Maung said.

“We call on the government of Jordan to refrain from selling arms Myanmar military, including C-295 planes. We call for all businesses to cut ties with the Myanmar military and for foreign governments to sanction military leaders and military-owned companies.”

Maung said Airbus and their partners must end all direct and indirect ties with the Myanmar military, including training and technical support. “Action is urgently needed to end Myanmar’s 70-year long civil war and the people’s suffering, and build a federal democracy and sustainable peace.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh