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DR Congo: The Forgotten Victims of Dan Gertler’s Corruption

Author: Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), UK, Published on: 16 September 2019

 Ten years ago, 700 workers at the Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings (KMT) mine in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo, were ordered to stop their work...the cobalt and copper mine was being forced to close. The Congolese government had unlawfully stripped First Quantum Minerals...which owned the mine, of its license. The workers no longer had jobs...And in violation of Congolese employment law, the workers received little or no compensation...

The workers lost their jobs for one simple reason: corruption...Dan Gertler had his eye on the lucrative mine. Working alongside his Congolese partners...and the American hedge fund Och-Ziff, he was awarded the rights to the mine for a mere US$60 million within months of its closure. In the years that followed, it was sold on to the Kazakh multinational mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) for an estimated US$685 million. Both sales were far below commercial valuations of the mine...The details of this corrupt scheme were set out in detail in papers released by US judicial officials in 2016 when the hedge fund Och-Ziff (now called Sculptor) admitted violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Its subsidiary, OZ Africa, pleaded guilty to criminal charges...

 For the next 10 years local residents saw no improvements, abandoned by investors and their own government. The new owners, ENRC, faced further scandal... and corruption, bribery and bad governance...the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opened a criminal investigation into ENRC, including examining what had occurred regarding the KMT mine...

Congolese victims of this corrupt scheme are forgotten and have received no compensation...But there is some hope...[with the Compensation Principles law adopted byt the British government in 2018].

 

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