WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Myanma Gems Enterprise (MGE), a Burmese state-owned entity that is responsible for all gemstone activities in Burma. Gemstones are a key economic resource for the Burmese military regime that is violently repressing pro-democracy protests in the country and that is responsible for the ongoing lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children. These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.
“Today’s action highlights Treasury’s commitment to denying the Burmese military sources of funding, including from key state-owned enterprises throughout Burma,” said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of the Foreign Assets Control. “The United States will continue to work tirelessly, including with partners throughout the region and the world, to support the restoration of democracy and rule of law in Burma and to bring accountability to those who seek to undermine these values.”
MGE is designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma,” for being a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Burma.
Myanma Gems Enterprise is a state-owned enterprise operating under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. MGE is a subdivision of the Ministry of Mines, which is responsible for managing the mining and marketing of jade and other gemstones. MGE is responsible for all functions relating to gemstones, including permitting, licensing, enforcing the regulatory framework, participating in joint ventures on behalf of the state, collecting royalties, and marketing of jade and gemstones in Burma. MGE is also responsible for supervising and granting permits for local private individuals and companies as well as organizing emporiums and special sales three times a year for gems and jade extracted.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the entity named above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.
Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.