Featured Congo

Congo-Brazzaville Strongman Buys Secret Weapons Haul from Azerbaijan

By Khadija Sharife and Mark Anderson, OCCRP, 22 February 2021 OCCRP — In January 2020, at the Turkish port of Derince on the eastern shores of the Sea of Marmara, a huge cache of weapons was loaded onto the MV Storm. Registered in the tax haven of Vanuatu,… Read More

Tough Sanctions, Then a Mysterious Last-Minute Turnabout

In early December, an Israeli billionaire named Dan Gertler made an unusual request to the Treasury Department. A mining magnate who had been accused for years of corruption in deals he struck with leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Gertler had been slapped with… Read More

House Democrats Urge Yellen to Reinstate Gertler Sanctions

Several Democratic House lawmakers are urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to reverse the Trump administration’s decision in its final days to ease sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler. The U.S. sanctioned Gertler and his companies in 2017 for allegedly corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo,… Read More
27th January 2021
The Trump administration eased sanctions on an Israeli mining tycoon in the days before President Biden’s inauguration. Restrictions on Dan Gertler over alleged corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were temporarily lifted by the US Treasury. The decision was not publicly announced. Mr Gertler’s lawyers were notified of… Read More
9th July 2020
Global Witness and the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) said they condemn a criminal complaint filed against them in France by Afriland First Bank, a Cameroonian financial institution named in the Undermining Sanctions investigation. “For two of the principal subjects of our report to threaten or file… Read More
22nd June 2020
After Miami’s real estate boom and bust a decade ago, one of the many foreign buyers who swooped in to snap up a luxury high-rise condo overlooking Biscayne Bay was a minister of parliament in the Republic of the Congo. Denis-Christel Sassou Nguesso, whose father has been president of the… Read More
30th March 2020
It is a sad fact that, even today, enforcement action against the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) usually begins and ends with a seizure of illegal wildlife products. Financial investigations – routine for other serious crimes – are seldom undertaken for IWT. In recent years, however, a growing consensus has… Read More
25th October 2019
Sanctions programs levied on some Sub-Saharan African countries could be made more effective by targeting specific networks rather than comprehensive sanctions against an entire country, a new report says. The report, published by policy advocacy group The Sentry on Thursday, evaluates the effectiveness of sanctions programs currently or previously… Read More
13th September 2019
The tiny republic of San Marino has confiscated €19 million (£17 million) stashed in its banks by one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. The money was allegedly deposited by Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president of the Republic of Congo, the former French colony also known as Congo-Brazzaville. The seizure of the… Read More
10th September 2019
Efforts by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to tackle money laundering and restock woefully thin foreign exchange reserves are causing dire currency shortages and delays to transactions across the six-nation currency union, businesses say. New BEAC rules introduced in June are aimed at bringing order to a monetary… Read More
8th August 2019
The son of Congo-Brazzaville’s president has misappropriated $50m (£41m) of public money by routing it through shell companies and secrecy jurisdictions, according to a new investigation. Six countries in the EU, the US state of Delaware and the British Virgin Islands all played a key role in Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso’s… Read More
18th January 2018
Police on Wednesday searched the headquarters of Belgian company Semlex, which supplies passports to various African countries, and the home of its CEO, Albert Karaziwan. About a dozen officers arrived at Semlex’s office in Brussels and at Karaziwan’s house in the city early in the morning. By early afternoon,… Read More
21st November 2017
Glencore PLC is reshuffling the board of one of its giant African copper operations following an internal review that the company said found weaknesses in its controls over financial reporting. The move comes amid an investigation by Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, the country’s biggest regional securities regulator, into… Read More