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Myanmar’s jade industry becomes the “sleigh fund” of the military government

The international regulator Global Witness said in a report released on Tuesday that with the military’s control of permits, the industry now faces the risk of “becoming a source of bribery funds and sponsorship for the military government” because it wants to ensure control of power.

Keel Dietz, the NGO’s Myanmar policy adviser, said: “The military controls the jade industry so powerfully that it is almost impossible to buy jade without funding the general and his allies.”

The organization called for sanctions to prohibit the import of all jade and gems mined in the country, and required companies and consumers to “avoid buying any jade and gems from Myanmar.”

Few profits end up in the treasury, and most high-quality jade is smuggled into China through the border.

Global Witness said that before the coup, 70% to 90% of all jade mined in Pakan, Kachin State, was smuggled across the border, “never entered the official system of Myanmar”.

“As the main driver of jade demand, China can also play a key role in resolving its role in trade-related corruption and conflict.”

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