US sanctions DR Congo man linked to Israeli tycoon

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The United States has imposed sanctions on a Democratic Republic of Congo national and 12 companies linked to him for allegedly providing support to blacklisted Israeli businessman Dan Gertler.

The US Treasury in a statement said Alain Mukonda opened bank accounts and made payments into proxy bank accounts for Mr Gertler after sanctions were placed on him.

It said Mr Mukonda made 16 cash deposits totalling between $11m (£8m) and $13.5m into accounts of companies he incorporated that ultimately belong to Mr Gertler’s family.

The US Treasury said it was standing by the country in fighting corruption which “fuels instability and conflict” and affects economic growth.

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

The US imposed sanctions on Mr Gertler and over 30 of his businesses in 2017 and 2018.

It accused him of using his friendship with former DR Congo President Joseph Kabila to corruptly secure lucrative mining deals. Mr Gertler denied any wrongdoing.

The sanctions were waived in the last days of Donald Trump administration.

They were however reversed in March this year following calls by Congolese and international anti-corruption campaigners.

Source:bbc.com

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