Global Witness has been investigating how two major international mining companies – Glencore and ENRC – are linked to the controversial secret sales of prize mining assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since 2010, a scandal has been raging in Congo around the secret sales of stakes in several copper and cobalt mines. According to the data that Global Witness has gathered –which is disputed by the Congolese authorities and companies involved - these assets were all sold off in secret by Congolese state mining companies, usually at a small fraction of their commercially estimated values. Sometimes the sales prices were in the region of five per cent of commercial valuations.
The immediate buyers of the mining assets in question were offshore companies, which have in some cases sold stakes in the mines on for huge profits. The full list of beneficiaries of the offshore companies – registered in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere - is a secret. However, information has been coming to light that several of the offshore companies are linked to Dan Gertler, a friend of President Joseph Kabila. Mr Gertler says that all the offshore companies in the Fleurette Group, his holding company, have solely members of his family as beneficiaries.
To read more about Global Witness’s investigations into Glencore and ENRC, click on the links to the left.
Congo - a desperately poor, war-ravaged country - is losing out on billions of dollars of revenues. The Congolese state is getting very little in return for many of its best mines. The profits are going into the hands of unknown people and their international partners. With such huge sums of money at stake, with more minerals to exploit in Congo, and with the Congolese people still in the dark about where their money has gone, this is too important a matter to let rest. The companies involved must explain the role they have played in these secretive and questionable deals and full light must be shed on the beneficiaries of the offshore companies and their transactions.
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