An executive order from US President Joe Biden gave the green light to block the transfer indefinitely, Reuters reported.
Myanmar’s military rulers attempted to move about $1bn held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) in the United States days after seizing power on February 1, prompting US officials to put a freeze on the funds, three people familiar with the matter, including one US government official, told Reuters news agency.
The transaction on February 4 in the name of the Central Bank of Myanmar was first blocked by Fed safeguards. US government officials then stalled on approving the transfer until an executive order issued by US President Joe Biden gave them legal authority to block it indefinitely, sources told Reuters.
A spokesman for the New York Fed declined to comment on specific account holders. The US Department of the Treasury also declined to comment.
The attempt, which has not been previously reported, came after Myanmar’s military installed a new central bank governor and detained reformist officials during the coup.
It marked an apparent effort by Myanmar’s generals to limit exposure to international sanctions after they arrested elected officials, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won a national election in November. The army seized power and alleged fraud – claims that the electoral commission has dismissed.
A spokesman for Myanmar’s military government did not answer repeated calls seeking comment. Reuters…