A judicial investigation in Kinshasa has opened after revelations of alleged embezzlement of $138 million by former Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and his cronies.
Kabila and his family are accused of having “siphoned” at least $138 million from state coffers in an investigation titled “Congo Hold-up”, conducted by international media and NGOs. These alleged embezzlements took place from 2013 to 2018, according to the investigators.
Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said Monday that “the Minister of Justice wrote to the prosecutor’s office on November 20 (…), she gave an injunction for the purposes of investigation and prosecution.” “We cannot, as a government, remain insensitive to such allegations,” said Muyaya, who is also Minister of Communication.
A source in the prosecutor’s office explained that “a judicial inquiry has been opened” by the prosecutor’s office at the Court of Cassation, following a request by the Minister of Justice.
According to the “Congo Hold-up” investigation, the $138 million were embezzled “with the complicity of the BGFI RDC bank” (subsidiary in the DRC of the BGFIBank banking group based in Gabon), in which people close to Mr. Kabila had interests and responsibilities, “in particular through a shell company set up in a garage.
This investigation is based on 3.5 million confidential banking documents, obtained by the French online investigative media Mediapart and the NGO “Platform for the Protection of whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF). These data were analysed for six months by 19 international media and five NGOs, coordinated by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) network.
In a statement, the communication service of former President Kabila described the findings of this investigation as “Kabilabashing” and “an attempt to discredit” the former head of state.
Kabila was President of the DRC between January 2001 to January 2019 before the current head of state Felix Tshisekedi succeeded him.
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