Photo: Tin mine, Purnadi Phan, flickr (cc)

The supply chains of over 500 companies, including Apple, Starbucks and Tiffany & Co, are linked to a tin mine controlled by an insurgent army in Myanmar. The Man Maw mine is controlled by the United Wa State Army (UWSA), which is placed under sanctions by the United States for suspected narcotics trafficking.

Photo: Tin mine, Purnadi Phan, flickr (cc)

Supply chain research of Reuters shows that over 500 publicly traded companies are on the suppliers list of seven Chinese firms that indirectly buy tin from the Man Maw mine. Take a look at the graphic of the supply chain here. The seven companies that extract tin from the mine are owned or controlled by the UWSA, the strongest armed group that was involved in the civil war in Myanmar.

The supply chains of multinational companies are increasingly complex and difficult to monitor. Since 2012, companies in the U.S. need to trace their supply chains to make sure they don’t source from mines that are controlled by armed groups in Central Africa. The regulation does not oblige companies to assess the origin minerals from other conflict affected areas.

Read the full article here.