Kirin audit inconclusive

Japanese beverage giant Kirin’s investigation of its controversial partnership with a Myanmar military conglomerate has failed to yield significant findings, the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the assessment was inconclusive as a result of Deloitte being unable to access sufficient information required to make a definitive determination,” Reuters quoted the company as saying.

Dividend payments from Myanmar Brewery Limited and Mandalay Brewery Limited to Kirin and its military-backed partner Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company (MEHPCL) had been suspended amid the investigation by third-party auditor Deloitte Tohmatsu. Those payments will remain suspended, Reuters reported.

Kirin initially commissioned Deloitte in June of last year, after the U.N. Fact-Finding Mission for Myanmar urged a global boycott of all military linked business. Their report said Kirin’s stake in Myanmar Brewery (which makes Myanmar Beer, the country’s largest beverage brand), as well as a number of cash donations to the military, directly financed human rights abuses against Rakhine Muslims. Kirin initiated the Deloitte probe, the company said, because MEHPCL did not comply with requests for details about its business operations.

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