The US Treasury has charged a Congolese national from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alain Mukunda, with opening bank accounts for Dan Gertler and making payments into proxy bank accounts for him and a close associate.
On Monday, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 12 associated entities for allegedly providing support to blacklisted Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler.
The US Treasury has charged a Congolese national from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alain Mukunda, with opening bank accounts for Gertler and making payments into proxy bank accounts for him and a close partner.
The Treasury alleges that Mukunda made 16 cash deposits totaling between $11 million and $13.5 million in the accounts of the companies he founded that eventually belonged to the Gertler family and reclassified several Gertler companies from Gibraltar and the British Virgin Islands to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The Department of the Treasury is committed to supporting anti-corruption efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by prosecuting those who abuse the political system for economic gain and unfair profit from the Congolese state,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wali Ademo said in a statement. “The Treasury recognizes that corruption fuels instability and conflict, and undermines efforts to achieve economic growth and the rule of law necessary to overcome fragility.”
Monday’s sanctions are based on the Magnitsky Global Human Rights Accountability Act targeting perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and corruption, the first in what the Treasury is describing as “Action Week” that precedes the Democracy Summit hosted by US President Joe. Biden.
Gertler was blacklisted by the administration of former US President Donald Trump in 2017 for allegedly fueling corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he amassed a fortune through mining and oil deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Gertler is accused of taking advantage of his close friendship with former DRC President Joseph Kabila to insert himself as a broker for sales of the country’s mining assets. The Treasury said the subsequent writedown of those assets cost the DRC more than $1.36 billion in lost revenue between 2010 and 2012.
Gertler denies involvement in corrupt practices.
In March, the Biden administration rescinded a sanctions waivers on Gertler issued in the final days of the Trump administration.
The assets of those under US sanctions are frozen, and Americans are barred from doing business with them.