Cablegate Chronicles: The Up-And-Coming Burmese Crony

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Regime crony Zaw Zaw continues to expand his businesses in Burma.


FROM: RANGOON, BURMA
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: JUNE 19, 2009
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL
SEE FULL CABLE

¶2. (C) Zaw Zaw, one of Burma's up-and-coming cronies, continues to expand his businesses. His Max Myanmar Group of Companies, which overseas his construction and tourism operations, is already designated on the Department of the Treasury's sanctions list (Ref A). We have confirmed Zaw Zaw also owns Pinya Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which produces beverages including Max Cola for the local market. Pinya Manufacturing began operating in 1998 with an initial investment of 12.5 million kyat (approximately USD 41,000 in 1998) and currently employs more than 70 workers. Pinya Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has 13 distribution branches throughout Burma.

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¶3. (C) Embassy business contact XXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed that Zaw Zaw is expanding his business ventures under the Max Myanmar umbrella, including construction of a cement factory in Nay Pyi Taw, which allegedly will provide cement to Steven Law for Asia World's airport project (Ref B), a concrete block factory in Nay Pyi Taw, a jade mine in Phakhant, and a rubber plantation in Mon State. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX , Zaw Zaw operates the Lone Khin jade mine in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and recently received an additional 50 acres of land in Phakhant for jade mine development. Zaw Zaw allegedly sold several lots of jade at the March 2009 government jade and gem auction, [name removed] noted.

¶4. (C) Zaw Zaw is currently Chairman of the Myanmar Football Federation, and he owns Delta United, one of the professional soccer teams in the new Myanmar Football National League (Ref C). Contacts confirm that Zaw Zaw hired Senior General Than Shwe's grandson to play on the team (Ref D).

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