Myanmar: Western Union cut ties with military-owned Myawaddy Bank over alleged genocide & war crimes
Author: Nay Myo Htun,Ye Kaung Myint Maung, & Roseanne Gerin, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 12 January 2020
"Myanmar Military Shrugs Off Western Union Decision to Cut Ties With Army-owned Bank", 9 January 2020
Myanmar’s armed forces...said a decision by money transfer company Western Union to cut ties to a military-owned bank over army atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority violates the rights of military families.
U.S.-based Western Union terminated its agent contract with Myawaddy Bank...over alleged genocide and war crimes committed against Myanmar civilians.
A Western Union spokesperson said ...the company..."conducts agent due diligence and oversight through periodic reviews to determine whether these agents satisfy relevant regulatory requirements and Western Union policies.
"As a result of such a review, Western Union has ended its contract with Myawaddy Bank, effective immediately," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Myanmar defense forces spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun...“This violates the rights of military families and deters their prosperity,” he said.
“Regardless, Western Union is only one international money transaction service,” he said. “If it is not available, we will work with someone who is available to us.”
“There will be no big impact on the country,” he said. “These [military] banks have been operating before they started working with [Western Union].”
Burma Campaign UK and 32 other organizations issued a joint statement in October 2018 calling on Western Union to stop doing business with Myawaddy Bank.
“Western Union is doing business with a military responsible for the rape of thousands of women, and the killing of thousands more,” Western Union’s statement said.
“There are plenty of alternative nonmilitary companies in Burma that Western Union can use in Burma,” it said. “There is no justification for putting money into the pockets of Burma’s brutal military.”