Frankfurter, Germany (Chindwin): Myanmar citizen who recently arrived in Germany with a working permit starts experiencing the restriction of a local German Bank – known as Sparkasse bank, which not allows him to open a new bank account due to the alleged reason of his name being quite similar to one of the Ministers of National Unity Government of Myanmar.
The newly arrived Myanmar citizen is forced to make a declaration that his name is not associated with or related to a Minister of NUG.
The bank’s internal algorithm catches Myanmar citizen’s name. So, it is believed that this kind of ban and restriction appears to be not just happening at a local bank level. It could be much with all the banks in Germany, according to a Senior Technical consultant at one of the German bank, who speaks on the condition of anonymity.
National Unity Government is formed to fight against the military junta that has seized power from the democratically elected government of Myanmar on 01 February 2021.
Chindwin is requested not to disclose the names of the two individuals – a Myanmar citizen and a Minister name who is a member of National Unity Government for security reasons.
The Myanmar politician, who is appointed as a Minister for National Unity Government following the military junta’s brutal coup, is banned by the German bank.
If a Myanmar citizen is scrutinised for a normal process of checking name similarity, that should be alright. Now, the Sparkasse bank tells him that the bank is investigating whether he is associated with the NUG’s Minister and facing a lengthy process of intense vetting as he is given another appointment on 18th May.
The Senior Technical Consultant working in a German bank says it is suspected that the NUG’s Minister is banned from opening a bank account in Germany for money laundering and illegal transaction purposes.
It is a huge surprise to Myanmar citizens and broadly the diasporas Burmese communities across the globe to learn that Minister appointed to the National Unity Government of Myanmar is banned from opening a bank account in a democratic nation like Germany.
This raises many questions to the stance of Western democratic nations on Myanmar.
A person familiar with the matter tells Chindwin that the issue is under investigation, and it is not conclusive at this point in time whether the German government is banning all members of the National Unity Government from opening bank accounts in Germany or just targeting a single individual member of NUG.