DRC: report reveals how Dan Gertler tried to escape sanctions
Israeli businessman Dan Gertler visits the Katanga Mining Ltd. mining complex in 2012. Simon Dawson / Bloomberg via Getty Images
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This is a new investigation into the Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler. Since December 2017, he has been under sanctions from the United States, accused by the United States Treasury of having acted as an intermediary in the sale of mining assets in the DRC and what would have cost the country nearly a billion and a half dollars between 2010 and 2012. The new report from Global Witness and PLAAFF, Africa's whistleblower platform, explains how Dan Gertler tried to escape these sanctions.
The report is entitled "Sanctions, mines of nothing" and explains how Dan Gertler created, from October 2017, a few weeks before the official announcement of the sanctions which hit him, a new holding company Gerco SAS and a dozen companies.
Different nominees oversee them, his wife, family members, friends. These companies have enabled him to continue doing business in the DRC. They also obtained low-cost mining permits just before the departure of Joseph Kabila from power. One of these companies even signed a contract with Gécamines , the state-owned company.
PLAAFF and Global Witness, supported by investigative journalists, discovered a whole network of companies, some based in tax havens, others in Hong Kong, Switzerland or even in the Czech Republic. Many transactions have passed through a Congolese bank Afriland, a subsidiary of a Cameroonian bank, today suspected by the two NGOs of having facilitated the laundering of tens of millions of dollars, often through cash deposits.
This explosive investigation should not help the situation of Dan Gertler and all his business partners like Glencore, while Switzerland has just opened a judicial investigation against the Swiss mining giant linked to suspected acts of corruption in the DRC .
Global Witness and PLAAFF report points out that since the sanctions, Gécamines, the state-owned company , signed in 2018, just before the elections, a contract on potentially significant mining assets with a newly created company Evelyne Investissement, which is owned by someone close to Dan Gertler.
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