Thursday, December 6, 2012

Investigative Journalism: Mine Deals "Looting" Congo

Interesting in-depth report here from Bloomberg Markets Magazine on Dan Gertler.

The 38-year-old Israeli billionaire built a fortune out of Congo's vast mineral riches thanks to his close personal relationship with Congolese president Joseph Kabila and lucrative deals that let Gertler purchase resources below their value, the Bloomberg report says.

Meanwhile, Congo remains one of the world's poorest and most corrupt countries. Governance is so bad the International Monetary Fund cut off loans worth $225 million U.S. because a lack of transparency in mining deals, according to IMF official Antoinette Sayeh, who is cited in the story.

"Dan Gertler is essentially looting Congo at the expense of its people," Congolese mining watchdog rep Jean Pierre Muteba tells Bloomberg. 

Gertler dismisses such critics, saying he aims to help Congo as well as himself. "At the end of the day, yes, I'm looking to create a lot of wealth," he is quoted saying.

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