A senior Burmese government official blacklisted by the United States has been flown into Singapore for treatment after suffering a stroke.
74-year-old Aung Thaung lost consciousness on Wednesday evening, the Democratic Voice of Burma reported. He was rushed to a hospital in Naypyidaw, but was flown to Singapore on Thursday morning.
Currently a lower house Member of Parliament for the Taungtha Township in Mandalay Division, Aung Thaung was Minister of Industry under the military junta fro 1997 to 2011. He is known as a hardliner in the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), and is said to be on such good terms with the military regime’s leader Senior General Than Shwe that they occasionally breakfast together, a sign of favour and privilege in the hierarchy.
The United States blacklisted Aung Thaung last year, days ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar, freezing any of his US-based assets and banning US citizens from doing business with him.
“By intentionally undermining the positive political and economic transition in Burma, Aung Thaung is perpetuating violence, oppression, and corruption,” said Adam J. Szubin, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “The United States firmly supports the Burmese Government’s progress on reforms, and we remain vigilant about targeting those whose activities facilitate repression and dictatorship.”
Aung Thaung and his family are among Myanmar’s wealthiest families with multiple business interests in the country.