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Myanmar Tycoon’s Son Wins EU Sanctions Challenge

Tycoon Tayza Family
By Samuel Rubenfeld

The son of a tycoon with reputed links to Myanmar’s former junta successfully challenged a European Union asset freeze, arguing that he shouldn’t be punished because of his father’s actions, according to an AFP report.

The EU Court of Justice said Tuesday that it annulled the 2008 sanctions regulation that froze the assets of Pye Phyo Tay Za, whose father, Tay Za, is a target of sanctions.

“Restrictive measures imposed on a third country must be directed only – in so far as natural persons are concerned – against the leaders of that country and the persons associated with them,” the Court said in a statement (pdf).

“The application of such measures to natural persons on the sole ground of a family connection with such persons who are associated with the leaders of the third country concerned – irrespective of the personal conduct of such natural persons – is contrary to EU law,” the statement said.

Tuesday’s ruling only covers the 2008 regulation and it’s still up to the EU Council of Ministers to remove him from the blacklist, the AFP report noted, citing the ruling.

His father Tay Za, who owns a string of luxury hotels, the Myanmar airline Air Bagan and the football club Yangon United, is subject to an EU visa ban and asset freeze. They’re both subject to U.S. sanctions under a 2007 executive order (pdf) signed by George W. Bush.

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