This picture, taken on December 30, 2010, shows logs of teak wood being gathered near Thazi in central Myanmar. (By AFP)
The US has turned a blind eye on the import of Myanmar teak despite purported sanctions, according to a new report.
The US Treasury announced sanctions against Myanmar in April 2021, banning any importation from or business with the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) following a coup in the country last year.
However, US timber companies continued to import huge quantities of the valuable hardwood from Myanmar last year, according to the new report.
The report, released on Tuesday by advocacy group Justice for Myanmar, counted 82 timber shipments from Myanmar to the US between February and November 2021, "consistent" with previous years.
"The evidence shows that the sanctions have not stopped the flow of teak to the US, and therefore have not stopped the flow of funds from the timber trade to the illegal military junta," said the report, which relied on shipping records from global trade database Panjiva.
US timber companies imported nearly 1,600 metric tons of teak from Myanmar, circumventing sanctions and channeling millions of dollars in revenue to the countryís junta, according to the groupís report.
The US placed sanctions on Myanmar following violent crackdowns on the pro-democracy movement in the country in the wake of the February 2021 coup.
The junta overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 last year.
Since then, protesters have been demanding the restoration of civilian rule. Meanwhile, Suu Kyi and her associates remain in the custody of the junta.