The United States may take action against those related to the smuggling of nuclear raw materials in Myanmar The United States may take action against those related to the smuggling of nuclear raw materials in Myanmar

The United States may take action against those related to the smuggling of nuclear raw materials in Myanmar

The United States may take action against those related to the smuggling of nuclear raw materials in Myanmar

Analysts say the U.S. government could take action against those involved in trying to covertly sell nuclear raw materials from Myanmar.

The Southern Department of Justice of New York announced on February 21 that the Japanese Yakuza gang leader Takeshi Ebisawa, who was arrested by the US government, was charged with trying to sell uranium and plutonium raw materials from Myanmar.

According to the court's statement, Takeshi Ebisawa tried to sell nuclear-grade uranium from an armed group in Myanmar to buy military equipment for the group. The court statement did not mention which armed group in Myanmar.

But in a 2022 sealed complaint filed by a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer in court, it appears that the group is the Rehabilitation Council of Shan State (RCSS) and that the group's leader is involved.

Just a few days after this statement came out, RCSS chairman General Yew Sis said, Tai Freedom, the news agency of RCSS, denied the response saying that this allegation is a one-sided allegation and has no basis.

He said that a few years ago, a foreigner had offered to buy it due to reports of uranium deposits in Shan State.

Tom Kean, an advisor to ICG, an international conflict monitoring group based in Brussels, Belgium, believes that the US government can take action if the evidence in this case is strong.

"The allegations of involvement in the smuggling of nuclear-related materials are very serious. If there is evidence, we can imagine that the US government could take action against any organizations involved. It cannot be said that all the contents of the indictment are false. For example, the indictment says that a crime lab tested nuclear samples that contained uranium, thorium and plutonium."

Tom Kean also said that if you look at all the charges from the US Department of Justice, it is hard to believe.

"If there is evidence, I can imagine that the US government could take action against any of the organizations involved. "

He also pointed out that it is quite strange that an ethnic armed group in Myanmar has a large amount of plutonium at a level sufficient to produce a nuclear weapon.

Bertil Lintner, a veteran journalist who is an expert on Myanmar issues, Takeshi Ebisawa is not a member of the yakuza, but an ordinary member of a small gang. He told RFA that it was difficult to call him a yakuza leader, as he lived in a small apartment in the suburbs of Tokyo until his arrest. Therefore, we consider that the charges are unreasonable.

When RFA contacted the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar via email on February 27 about this case, they replied that they had no comment on pending legal matters.

Takeshi Ebisawa, an American citizen with him, 2022 in New York with two Thai nationals. He was arrested in early April and is being prosecuted for drug and weapons smuggling.

This month, Takeshi Ebisawa was indicted by a US court for smuggling raw materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

In a statement issued by a US court this month, Takeshi Ebisawa told a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) detective posing as an arms smuggler in 2020 that he wanted to sell Myanmar nuclear raw materials. He also said that he met and showed a sample of the raw material in Thailand.

In addition, a DEA detective was emailed a letter with the name of a mining company that offered to sell five tons of uranium and thorium for $6.85 million.

Takeshi Ebisawa also gave DEA detectives a list of military equipment he wanted to buy on behalf of a leader of an ethnic armed group in Myanmar in 2022. He said it was sent in May. The list also includes surface-to-air missiles.

When investigating the case, another DEA detective disguised as an Iranian general was also involved, he said.

Dr. Sai Kyi Zin Soe, a Myanmar political analyst, believes that the US government can take action against those involved in this case if the evidence is strong.

"If the United States is involved in something that can harm and kill people, there are many things they can do. In the case of Iran, they have accused them of killing people. So we have to watch what specific accusations they have and what they will do next."

Political analyst U Than Soe Naing pointed out that there is no strong evidence in this case.

"There is no evidence to prove whether the truth is true or not. That's why I see that the issue of the fact that the leaders of the Tayrin armed groups in Burma are related will not reach the American court."

In early April 2022, the US Department of Justice's first announcement regarding Takeshi Ebisawa's drug and arms smuggling stated that Takeshi Ebisawa brokered the exchange of military weapons and drugs for ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar.

Those organizations are the Karen National Union (KNU) and the United Wa State Army (UWSA), according to the (DEA) officer's sealed complaint.
RFA has contacted KNU and UWSA spokespersons about this, but has yet to receive a response.

A former military officer, who did not want to be named for security reasons, believes that the US government wants to get deeply involved in Myanmar's affairs.

"The first thing is that the United States wants to get deeply involved in the affairs of Myanmar. In order for this to happen, we believe that the group led by the president is making a strong case for the US Congress. I think this is aimed at counterbalancing China, getting more involved in Myanmar, providing assistance, and gaining the support of the American public."

According to the US Department of Justice's statements, Takeshi Ebisawa and his accomplice, Somphop Singhasiri, a Thai citizen, were charged with weapons, drugs, He has been charged with a total of eight cases, including money laundering and nuclear material trade, including five cases that carry a life sentence.

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