Argor-Heraeus investigation (re Dem. Rep. Congo)
On 1 November 2013 the Swiss NGO TRIAL filed a criminal complaint (dénonciation pénale) with the Swiss federal prosecutor’s office against Argor-Heraeus SA, a Swiss gold refinery, alleging that the company had been involved in money laundering. TRIAL claimed that Argor-Heraeus had refined gold that had been pillaged by an illegal armed group (Front nationaliste et intégrationniste (FNI)) from the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The armed struggle to control mineral wealth in this region of DRC has led to extensive human rights abuses. FNI allegedly used the proceeds from the sale of the gold to finance its operations and purchase arms.
The Swiss prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal investigation into TRIAL’s complaint.
- “Punish companies that pillage”, James G. Stewart, University of British Columbia in New York Times, 14 Nov 2013
- “Swiss gold refiner accused of abetting Congo war via money laundering”, Kerry A. Dolan, Forbes, 4 Nov 2012
- Argor-Heraeus SA: [PDF] Press Release – Argor Heraeus firmly refuses any accusation, 4 Nov 2013
- TRIAL (Track Impunity Always): [PDF] Stop Pillage – Pillage is a war crime, 4 Nov 2013