The United States Treasury on Monday slammed sanctions on a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Alain Mukonda and 12 entities linked to him for allegedly providing support to blacklisted Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler.
Mukonda is accused by the US Department of the Treasury of opening bank accounts for Gertler and making payments into proxy bank accounts on his behalf.
The Treasury claims Mukonda made 16 cash deposits totalling between $11m and $13.5m into accounts of companies he incorporated that ultimately belonged to Gertler’s family and redomiciled several of Gertler’s firms from Gibraltar and the British Virgin Islands to the DRC. Gertler denies he engaged in corrupt practices.
Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Wally Adeyemo in a statement said “Treasury is committed to supporting the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s anti-corruption efforts by going after those that abuse the political system for economic gain and unfairly profit from the Congolese state.”
He added that “Treasury recognises that corruption fuels instability and conflict, and undercuts efforts to achieve the economic growth and the rule of law necessary to overcome fragility.”
Monday’s sanctions build upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act that targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and corruption, and are the first in what the Treasury describes as a “Week of Actions” leading up to the Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden.
Gertler was blacklisted by former US President Donald Trump in 2017 for allegedly fuelling corruption in the DRC, where he amassed a fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars worth of mining and oil deals. Gertler is accused of leveraging his close friendship with former DRC President Joseph Kabila to insert himself as a middleman for mining asset sales in the country. The subsequent underpricing of those assets cost the DRC more than $1.36bn in lost revenues between 2010 and 2012, said the Treasury.
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