Transparency groups have long accused Gertler of using his DRC ties to obtain rights for lucrative minerals
By: i24 News Staff
An Israeli mining mogul set up a global money laundering network to work around American sanctions and extract mineral wealth from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday citing an investigation by two rights groups.
The US in 2017 froze all the assets and accounts of Israeli national Dan Gertler, a close ally of former DRC president Joseph Kabila, accusing the billionaire of profiting from massive resource corruption in Africa.
However, the Global Witness and the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) NGOs alleged in a reported released Thursday that Gertler dodged the sanctions to rake in millions over the last several years.
“Gertler appears to have used a money laundering network stretching from DRC to Europe and Israel to evade US sanctions against him, funnel millions of dollars abroad, and acquire new mining assets in DRC,” their report said.
The report alleges that Gertler and a network of proxies set up accounts with branches of Afriland First Bank.
Transparency campaigners have long accused Gertler of having used his DRC ties to obtain lucrative mineral rights at bargain prices before selling them onward at huge margins.
The US Treasury Department said that between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DR Congo lost more than $1.36 billion in state revenues from underpriced mining assets sold to offshore companies tied to Gertler.
The vast central African nation has great mineral wealth, but is the world’s third-poorest country when ranked by per capita GDP, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency. (i24 News)