US sanctions on Myanmar gems target key junta funding source

BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. sanctions on Myanma Gems Enterprise target an army-controlled business rife with corruption and abuses that is one of the junta’s key sources of revenue. The sanctions freeze any assets the firm holds in the U.S. or in U.S. jurisdictions and bar American citizens from doing business with it. The company is a major exporter of gems and semi-precious stones like jade, which bring in significant amounts of revenue to government coffers. The sector is important enough that the coup leader and military commander and Myanmar’s central bank governor were among the dignitaries who visited the opening of an annual gems, pearls and jade emporium earlier this month.