U.S. blacklists DRC businessman linked to graft

THE United States has imposed sanctions on a Democratic Republic of Congo national accused of providing support to Israeli investor Dan Gertler in action aimed at targeting corruption linked to the mining magnate blacklisted by the United States.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it designated Alain Mukonda, accusing him of making payments into proxy bank accounts for Gertler following his designation in 2017. The Treasury said Mukonda made cash deposits totalling between $11 million and $13.5 million into accounts of companies he incorporated that ultimately belong to Gertler’s family.

The Treasury also blacklisted 12 companies linked to or associated with Mukonda in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gibraltar.

“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,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Gertler and more than 30 of his businesses in December 2017 and June 2018, accusing him of leveraging his friendship with former Congo President Joseph Kabila to secure lucrative mining deals.

Gertler denies any wrongdoing.

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