Stay with me on this one….
Read to the very end before commenting or emailing me.
Reports have been coming out over the past couple days that Myanmar has seized Soros-related bank accounts.
Here are some of the posts, which do come from blue check marks:
The military regime has seized control of the bank accounts of Open Society Foundation (OSF) in Myanmar and issued arrest warrants for 11 staff members, on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta.https://t.co/Qnnqmbh0Ju
— Richa (@RichaShivakoti) March 17, 2021
Most of the reports all quote an article from Irrawaddy, whatever that is.
Now ordinarily with a source like that I would NOT bring it to you on this channel.
You know me, you know how I roll.
You know how I research.
And you know that I don’t bring you stories that are based on hack sources or baseless rumors.
So hang in there with me, I’ll explain in a minute.
First, here is a portion of that article from Irrawaddy:
The military regime has seized control of the bank accounts of billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) in Myanmar and announced that it will take legal action against the foundation, which is accused of violating restrictions on the activities of such organizations.
On Monday, military-controlled MRTV announced that the military had issued arrest warrants for 11 staff members of OSF Myanmar, including its head and deputy head, on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta.
The regime also claimed that the world’s largest private funder for justice, democratic governance and human rights had failed to obtain approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM)’s Foreign Exchange Management Department for a deposit of US$5 million (7.04 billion kyats) with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SMED) in Myanmar in 2018.
The foundation is also accused of illegally withdrawing $1.4 million from its account at SMED a week after the military takeover in Myanmar, as the civil disobedience movement was gaining momentum among civil servants across the country.
The military junta also took control of assets totaling $3.81 million and 375 million kyats in OSF bank accounts at four private banks—Kanbawza Bank (KBZ), Ayeyarwady Bank (AYA), SMED and Co-operative Bank (CB), according to MRTV.
The military said it had begun taking control of all illegal flows of money to OSF Myanmar, saying the foundation had breached the law that lays downs the rules and regulations for organizations in the country.
It said it would take legal action against SMED for allowing OSF to deposit $5 million and withdraw $1.4 million without obtaining approval from the CBM.
On March 12, the CBM notified all international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that they would be required to report all financial transactions involving international organizations or individuals from abroad, with relevant bank account information, since April 1, 2016. The order indicates that the military regime intends to investigate the financial transactions of organizations since the National League for Democracy (NLD) took office in early 2016.
The regime said the opening of the OSF Myanmar office came about after George Soros met ousted Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi four times between 2014 and 2017. It said OSF deputy chair Alexander Soros met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi six times from 2017 to 2020.
Military-aligned groups including the Union Solidarity and Development Party have accused Soros of manipulating Myanmar’s politics by supporting civil society organizations in the country. In 2017, lawmaker U Soe Thane, who served as President’s Office minister under U Thein Sein’s administration, objected to a ministerial appointment by the NLD government on grounds that the appointed minister had failed to disclose his previous work for the George Soros Foundation. He said that making the official a national security adviser could hurt Myanmar’s relations with China.
OSF has been supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition and promoting human rights, including those of marginalized groups, since 1994. The foundation said it had awarded more than 100 grants each year, mostly to grassroots civil society organizations including exile, ethnic media and educational organizations.
Like I said, normally I am not bringing you that story.
Not sourced well enough.
Normally I’m reading that and moving right along.
But in this case, I did a little digging and here is what I found VERY fascinating!
According to Reuters itself, from just two days ago, they don’t report on Soros bank accounts being seized, but they DO report on a Soros staff member being held in custody!
Folks, holding Soros staffers (people!) is potentially a bigger story than seizing bank accounts (money).
And not only that, the article says they’re looking to seize 11 more staffers once they find them!
Take a look:
The Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organisation founded by billionaire George Soros, called on Tuesday for the immediate release of a staff member held in Myanmar and said allegations of financial misconduct were false.
State media in Myanmar reported that authorities had detained an official from the Open Society Myanmar and were looking for 11 other employees on suspicion the group passed funds to opponents of a Feb. 1 coup.
“The Open Society Foundations are deeply concerned by reports that an OSM (Open Society Myanmar) staff member has been detained in Myanmar,” Open Society Foundations said in an emailed statement.
“We call for her immediate release. We are alarmed by reports that authorities are seeking to interrogate other staff members.”
Opponents of military rule launched a civil disobedience movement (CDM) of strikes to press the generals to reverse their coup, to free detained government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to recognise her party’s Nov. 8 election victory.
The military has responded with a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, killing more than 180 people, a human rights group said, while taking legal action against Suu Kyi and others.
The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, which has been for years a mouthpiece of the military, said OSM transferred funds without seeking permission from the Foreign Exchange Management Department.
The group then exchanged $1.4 million into Myanmar’s kyat currency “without following the necessary rules and regulations”, the paper said.
“Claims that OSM used these funds for illegal purposes are false. These funds were used for purposes fully within the objectives of OSM.”
The Global New Light of Myanmar paper suggested that unidentified non-governmental organisations were “providing cash assistance to CDM movements”.
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The paper said the finance officer of Open Society Myanmar, Phyu Pa Pa Thaw, had been interrogated since last Friday about “that cash flow into the CDM movement”.
Authorities were looking for 11 other OSM employees to interrogate them, it added.
“These allegations suggest a worrying attempt to attack and discredit those who wish for a return to peace and democracy in Myanmar,” The Open Society Foundations said.