Canada Total accused of financing the Burmese military junta through offshore accounts

20:55  04 may  2021
20:55  04 may  2021 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  Total accusé de financer la junte militaire birmane à travers des comptes offshore © Copyright 2021, Obs

This is a large-scale financial assembly revealed by "the world" , this Tuesday, May 4th. The Total French oil company would fund, through offshore accounts, the generals of the military junta in Burma.

Since 1998, Total exploits a gas deposit, yadana, off the Burmese coast. He is owned by the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a company controlled by Burmese soldiers and total of which is the majority shareholder.

having undergone military coup of February 1, 2021, the pro-democracy activists ask Total to cease its activities , because they report money to the junta which governs the country, since the eviction Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The newspaper "The World" has had access to internal documents, which show that there is a financial assembly around the yadana deposit and the pipeline that connects it to Thailand. This pipe is owned by the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC).

fewer taxes, more dividends

The MOGE and the MGTC have exactly the same shareholders, with the same units. For both Burmese companies, therefore, total is the main shareholder, with 31% of the Units. The MOGE, meanwhile, is a shareholder of herself and the MGTC. In short, the money that enters one of the two companies benefits each other, and also total.

The MGTC invoice very expensive the transport of the Gas of the MOGE by its pipeline. A way to "undress Pierre to dress Paul," explains "the world".

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The purpose of this billing, far from being absurd, is actually a tax diversion strategy: by giving a lot of money to the MGTC, the MOGE lowers its own income and thus pay very few taxes to the state Burmese. And since Total is a shareholder of the MOGE, he also pays less taxes.

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at the same time, the MGTC wins money and increase its profits. And since the company lies tax in Bermuda, Tax Paradise , it is not taxed on this great return of money. Total, a shareholder of this company too, is also a winner, since he affects dividends on which he does not pay the state. A subtlety that also benefits directly to the MOGE, for these same reasons.

"Black box" of the junta

is this last part that worries the most defenders of democracy. Because the MOGE is considered the "black box" of the military junta. "Hundreds of millions of dollars in gas revenue, which should return to the Burmese people, supply offshore accounts controlled by an illegal junta that leads a campaign of terror against the Burmens," denounces the "world" Yadanar Maung. Word of the NGO Justice for Myanmar.

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contacted by the newspaper, Total spoke of a "classical diagram", validated by the authorities of the time and which continued next. For Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of the company, these activities do not promote the junta in place since February.

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