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28 - 12 - 2017 US Government Imposes Sanctions Against 13 Persons, Including Diamantaire Dan Gertler

The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a press release recently stating that sanctions had been imposed by the US Government “targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world”. 

A press release issued by the Department said: “Building  on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by Congress last year, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (Order) today declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world and providing for the imposition of sanctions on actors engaged in these malign activities.”

In an Annex to the Order, the President imposed sanctions on “13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors”, the Department added.  In addition, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, imposed sanctions on an additional 39 affiliated individuals and entities under the newly-issued Order.

“Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the U.S. financial system,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds. At the direction of President Trump, Treasury and our interagency partners will continue to take decisive and impactful actions to hold accountable those who abuse human rights, perpetrate corruption, and undermine American ideals.”

Following the promulgation of the Order,  all of the assets of the individuals and entities included in the Annex to the Order or designated by OFAC,  lying within U.S. jurisdiction, are blocked;  and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Among the 13 persons named in the Annex is Dan Gertler, President of Dan Gertler International (DGI) and an Israeli billionaire businessman, with widespread interests in diamonds and copper. The U.S. Department of the Treasury in its press release says Gertler “has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”. 

Further, the statement says: “Gertler has used his close friendship with DRC President Joseph Kabila to act as a middleman for mining asset sales in the DRC, requiring some multinational companies to go through Gertler to do business with the Congolese state.  As a result, between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler.  The failure of the DRC to publish the full details of one of the sales prompted the International Monetary Fund to halt loans to the DRC totaling $225 million.  In 2013, Gertler sold to the DRC government for $150 million the rights to an oil block that Gertler purchased from the government for just $500,000, a loss of $149.5 million in potential revenue.  Gertler has acted for or on behalf of Kabila, helping Kabila organise offshore leasing companies.”

Sanctions were  also imposed  on other parties connected to Gertler. The statement added: “In a related action, OFAC designated Pieter Albert Deboutte, Fleurette Properties Limited, Fleurette Holdings Netherlands B.V., Gertler Family Foundation, Oil of DR Congo SPRL, Jarvis Congo SARL, International Diamond Industries, D.G.D. Investments Ltd., D.G.I. Israel Ltd, Proglan Capital Ltd, Emaxon Finance International Inc., Africa Horizons Investment Limited, Caprikat Limited, Foxwhelp Limited, Caprikat and Foxwhelp SARL, Lora Enterprises Limited, Zuppa Holdings Limited, Orama Properties Ltd, DGI Mining Ltd, and Rozaro Development Limited.”

Source: GJEPC 27-12-2017

 
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