Watchdog group says teak entered US from Myanmar despite sanctions

SINGAPORE — Nearly 1,600 tons of teak have been illegally imported into the United States from Myanmar since Feb. 1, 2021, with the bulk of the proceeds benefiting the beleaguered country’s military coup, according to Justice For Myanmar (JFM).

The watchdog group said teak imports violate sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control against state-owned Myanma Timber Enterprise, which manages the auctioning of logs to private companies. for export. JFM said a significant percentage of all export revenue “helps fund their campaign of terror against the people of Myanmar”.

JFM cited data from Panjiva, a global trade database, as evidence of the illegal imports. The group said 82 lumber shipments arrived in the United States between Feb. 1 and Nov. 30, 2021. Most of the shipments consisted of teak planks and samples used for shipbuilding, outdoor decking and decks. furniture.

Yadanar Maung, a spokesperson for JFM, said, “We call on the US government to ban all timber imports from Myanmar to prevent additional revenue from reaching the illegal military junta. Myanmar’s continued timber trade supports the illegal military junta which commits atrocities with impunity, including the indiscriminate killing of children.

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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