US Goes After Myanmar’s Jade Industry To Hurt Myanmar’s Military

In an effort to stop the flow of funds to the Myanmar military, the US government (the US Treasury Department) has imposed sanctions on the government-owned gems enterprise.
This enterprise is one of the keys to how the military in Myanmar gets funds. It is called the Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE).
Myanmar is a major source of jade in addition to being an important source of sapphires, rubies, and other gems.
The US has pursued about three other gemstone companies that have some connection to the Myanmar military in the past.
The UK and US are stepping up sanctions on the coup leaders and the Myanmar military. These sanctions are punishment for the coup on February 1, 2021 and the crackdown on the protesters.
Myamar military and police have been killing adults and children. Some children were killed in their homes and so far there have been more than 600 civilian deaths.
According to Andrea Gacki, Director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control, the jade snactions show the US’s commitment to halt funding of the Myanmar military. This will also stop American companies from doing business with the military. Within the Myanmar government, MGE works under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
The MGE is responsible for overseeing most of the gemstone and jade industries in Burma. They make the regulations for the jade businesses and collect and promote them in Burma.
Reports from the UN have examined the economic interests of the Myanmar military. They found the MGE to play a dominant role in Myanamr’s economy. They produce 50 percent of the government’s revenue. They spend half the government’s budget and control most of the formal economy.
Most of the MGE leadership is made up of former military leaders.
A report by Global Witness found that in 2014 they made $31 billion US dollars and produced around 17,000 tons of jade.

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