Documenting large scale economic crimes in the commercialized Myanmar

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By Maung Zarni

"Myanmar Economic Crime Documentation Unit"

There is a need to establish an open-source intelligence unit monitoring the process of privatization in Myanmar.t

Let's call this, provisionally, the Myanmar Economic Crime Watch or Documentation Unit which will document the large scale economic loot, theft and rape of the country and her wealth.

The battle for a new Myanmar now has a very clear economic and commercial front, not just political and human rights.

This is an extremely important work. For the country is being privaitized and the ex-generals who are now refashioning themselves as 'reformers' 'democrats' 'parliamentarians' 'nation-builders' are, with absolutely no exception, THIEVES - repeat THIEVES.

Here is a cursory list.

From the current regime:

1) Shwe Mann and sons; 2) Aung Thaung and sons; 3) Thein Sein and family (even ex-admiral and now super minister Soe Thein has said President is 'only relatively clean'. Thein Sein holds a huge stake in SKYNET, the largest private TV in Myanmar and all his overseas trips are covered by SKYNET - not even the official Myanmar TV); 4) Soe Thein; 5) Aung Min; 6) Htay Oo (former agri minister who was known to have 'eaten money wheel-barrowed to his office)

from the previous set up:

1) senior general Than Shwe
2) VSG Maung Aye
3) shit lone or Tin Aung Mying Oo
4) Tin Aye (Than Shwe's purse string holder)
5) Khin Nyunt (yes, former military intelligence chief)
6) Kyaw Win (former deputy intelligence chief)

And there are various cronies - some slick and stay below the radar and others who are superflashy and are on the known crony list - who have sought and obtained various patronages from the power holders.

On cronies, Aung San Suu Kyi is delusional and factually wrong. Within the system which is built on loot, lies and patronage no process of wealth generation can be considered 'clean'. If she wants to launder the cronies and whitewash their economic crimes/rape of the public and its assets it's her choice.

But the better informed Burmese and international supporters need to see wealth in Burma as ill-gotten gains, the outcome of state-sponsored and state-patronized theft. Nothing more. Nothing less.

All this wealth belongs to the people - all of us. They are stealing not just the people's wealth - but the country's future.

Some of this wealth is now reinvested in London's upscale real estate markets - in the million-pound properties.

Every penny/cent/kyat that they - the generals, ex-generals and their cronies steal is every penny/cent/kyat that the PEOPLE loose. Away from social and public welfare services, educational opportunities, professional upgrade, etc.

Their wealth has been largely created out of the system of rent-seeking monopolistic enterprises - and NOT out of any entrepreneurial talents or skills, as a matter of factly speaking.

Now for any Burmese and our international friends who want to see the emergence of transparency and accountability in a new Burma - whenever it is being seriously built - here are the things to do:

1) put in the public domain - like social media - the names of the accounts (not just these 5 accounts, but all verifiable accounts) under which Myanmar and its leaders at all levels hold their money. for instance, Kyaw Hsan, Shwe Mann, etc, all have their ACCOUNTS in Singaporean banks, under Chinese cover names. And Singapore banks are said to have raised their laundering fees from 8% to 12% - bring cash and ship them in crates and no questions as to how the money was acquired would be asked, and the money made legitimate instantly.

2) detail the amount, how the money is generated, who has done the deposit, under whose order, what the front names are, but to whom the money really belongs

3) take pictures and video clips of all IMMOVABLE assets - real estate properties (for instance, ministerial buildings, army headquarters, old hospital buildings), forests, mountains, islands, farms, formerly conflict zones, animal sanctuaries, lakes, ponds, historic monuments, heritage building, rivers, creeks, swamps, roads, bridges, etc - that are being privatized, rented, or otherwise commercialized

4) compile extensive data including the date of privatization, under whose order the privatization took place, the official amount of the sale, the market price, the difference, where the difference goes, who the current owner, what uses, what type of profits is being generated, evictions - if any, the use of violence, the pressure, blackmail, etc.
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