US imposes sanctions against Dan Gertle & 18 other businessmen under First Global Magnitsky Act for complicity in human rights violations

The US  has announced sanctions against 52 people and entities from around the world over alleged human rights abuses and corruption. This includes Israeli billionaire Gertler over Congo deals and Benjamin Bol Mel of South Sudan. Announcing the sanctions, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said freezing the assets and denouncing the acts they’ve committed, sends "a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds.”

[Refers to Africada Airways, Kanilai Group International, Kanilai Worni Family Farms, Royal Africa Capital Holding, Africada Financial Service & Bureau de Change, Africada Micro-Finance, Africada Insurance Company, Kora Media Corporation, Atlantic Pelican Company, Palm Grove Africa Dev’t Corp., Patriot Insurance Brokers Co., and Royal Africa Securities Brokerage, Pieter Albert Deboutte, Fleurette Properties, Fleurette Holdings Netherlands B.V., Gertler Family Foundation, Oil of DR Congo SPRL, Jarvis Congo SARL, International Diamond Industries, D.G.D. Investments, D.G.I. Israel Ltd, Proglan Capital, Emaxon Finance International Inc., Africa Horizons Investment, Caprikat Limited, Foxwhelp, Caprikat and Foxwhelp SARL, Lora Enterprises, Zuppa Holdings, Orama Properties, DGI Mining, and Rozaro Development, Preduzece Za Trgovinu Na Veliko I Malo Partizan Tech DOO Beograd-Savski Venac (“Partizan Tech”), Charso, Grawit, Technoglobal Systems DOO Beograd,ABMC Thai-South Sudan Construction, and Home and Away]

 

 

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Article
3 January 2018

Global Witness welcomes sanctions against Dan Gertler over Democratic Republic of Congo deals

Author: Global Witness

"Global Witness reaction to US sanctions against Dan Gertler over Congo deals"

In response to the sanctions announced against Gertler, Nick Donovan, Global Witness Campaign Director for Conflict and Fragile States said: “In just 6 of the secret deals we investigated involving Dan Gertler the Congolese people lost $1.5bn, equivalent to twice Congo's annual health and education spend. Congolese families desperately needed that money to pay for the healthcare and schooling of their children. Dan Gertler is notorious as a so-called 'friend of the president'. He has acted as a gatekeeper to Congo's mineral riches, and held dubious relationships with several western mining companies, including Glencore. In US Department of Justice documents summarising evidence of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by Och Ziff, an American hedge fund, Gertler - referred to as an 'infamous Israeli businessman'- is described as paying bribes to Congolese officials, understood to include the President.

These new US sanctions on Gertler will contribute to cutting off what has been an important financial lifeline to Congo’s President Joseph Kabila, who retains an unconstitutional grip on power. The decision to sanction sends a very strong signal that the US will not tolerate corrupt behaviour of this sort. These latest US sanctions against Gertler mean international companies with existing business relationships with him and related entities in Congo, including Randgold and Glencore, will have to  re-evaluate their contracts. The sanctions are welcome. We hope that authorities in the US, Israel, DRC, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands also consider opening criminal investigations into both Dan Gertler and Glencore. Western businessmen have been looting Congo for too long.”

Gertler has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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Article
3 January 2018

Press release on US sanctions under First Global Magnitsky Act

Author: US Department of the Treasury

"United States Sanctions Human Rights Abusers and Corrupt Actors Across the Globe"

Today, the Trump Administration launched a new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world.  Building on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by Congress last year, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (Order) today declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world and providing for the imposition of sanctions on actors engaged in these malign activities...[The] President imposed sanctions on 13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors...

“Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the U.S. financial system.  Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin... ”As a result of today’s actions, all of the assets within U.S. jurisdiction of the individuals and entities included in the Annex to the Order or designated by OFAC are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

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Article
3 January 2018

US sanctions Israeli billionaire Gertler over complicity in underpricing minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Glencore comments

Author: Thomas Biesheuvel, Mark Burton & William Clowes, in Bloomberg

"U.S. Sanctions Israeli Billionaire Gertler Over Congo Deals"

The U.S. sanctioned Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, one of the biggest individual mining investors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in what it calls a clampdown on human-rights abusers and corrupt actors. The U.S. Treasury said Gertler has used his close relationship with the country’s president, Joseph Kabila, to amass a fortune through corrupt and opaque deals. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, Congo reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler, it said. “Gertler has used his close friendship with DRC President Joseph Kabila to act as a middleman for mining asset sales in the DRC, requiring some multinational companies to go through Gertler to do business with the Congolese state," the U.S. Treasury said in a statement...

Gertler’s representatives...said they could not immediately respond to the U.S. action. Glencore complies with all applicable sanctions, a spokesman for Glencore said by phone.

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