Civil Society Call on DRC President to Freeze Assets of Dan Gertler

The following public letter was sent to President Tshisekedi:

Kinshasa, 24 February 2020

To the attention of:  Your Excellency, Mr. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Re:  Provisional measures and investigations relating to Dan Gertler’s sanctioned entities in the United States

Dear Mr. President,

We are a group of civil society organizations associated with the campaign “Congo is not for sale”. We are writing to congratulate you on the special attention you recently gave to US sanctioned entities accused of questionable financial transactions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We write to request precautionary measures against other entities also under US sanctions, in order to limit the risk of unlawful practices that could harm the country’s public finances.

We commend the protective measures taken by your administration in December 2019 when you requested Congolese banks to freeze the bank accounts associated with Mr. Saleh Assi and his Congolese company, Pain Victoire, both subject to American sanctions for financing the terrorist activities of Hezbollah. By this act you sent a strong signal that Congo refuses to be an accomplice to money laundering.

We urge you to take similar action against businessman Dan Gertler and his business entities, albeit subject to a different sanctions regime. Mr. Gertler’s network is accused by the United States Department of the Treasury not of harmful activities abroad, but of damaging the funds of the Congolese state and its good governance. According to the US Treasury, Mr. Gertler was sanctioned for “amassing his fortune through opaque and corrupt mining and oil transactions”, causing the Congo to lose up to $1.4 billion between 2010 and 2012, according to a report from the Africa Progress Panel.

Mr. President, since your inauguration you have committed to take measures to fight corruption, as evident during your first speech on the State of the Nation. It is within the framework of this noble struggle that we ask you, Your Excellency, to adopt the following protective measures:

1. Authorize the seizure and freezing of property belonging to Mr. Gertler, including and without delay, the freezing of any bank accounts belonging to Mr. Gertler and his affiliated companies;

2. Order state-owned companies to suspend any possible transactions under negotiation with Mr. Gertler and his affiliated companies;

3. Commission an independent audit of all contracts and transactions involving Mr. Gertler;

4. Commission an independent audit of the state entities which have concluded contracts or other transactions with Mr. Gertler;

5. Commit the government to undertake the publication of all reports and other conclusions resulting from this independent audit.

These measures are essential to affirm the commitment of the entire political class in the fight against corruption. We are at your disposal for any further discussion of these matters and to any answer any questions you may have.

Signed by the following members of “LE CONGO N’EST PAS A VENDRE” [Congo is not for Sale] :




Global Witness


Resource Matters


Note: Original letter in French

Link to the public letter is here.