On 1 April 2021, the UK government announced additional measures targeting the Myanmar regime’s economic interests. Further to the 25 March 2021 announcement targeting Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL), the UK has added Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) to its Global Human Rights sanctions regime. The UK cited credible evidence that MEC had contributed funds to the Myanmar military who have allegedly committed widespread human rights violations in Myanmar.
The sanctions impose an asset freeze against MEC and its subsidiaries as well as prohibiting funds and economic resources being made available, directly or indirectly, to MEC or any subsidiary it controls. The UK named 64 of MEC’s subsidiaries in its Sanctions List, targeting entities in industries such as mining, telecommunications and metals.
Adding MEC to the UK Sanctions list aligns the UK with the US in sanctioning both military-controlled conglomerates and is the most recent measure in the UK’s wider response to the 1 February 2021 coup (see our previous blog posts here and here).