Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 14 entities pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which targets serious human rights abuse and corruption, for being affiliated with designated Israeli businessman and billionaire Dan Gertler. As previously noted in the December 2017 action, Gertler is an international businessman and billionaire who 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). 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. Gertler and his company Fleurette Properties have used offshore companies to facilitate such deals. 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. In late December, the President included Gertler in the Annex to E.O. 13818, while OFAC simultaneously designated 19 companies and one associate for their ties to him. With today’s action, the number of sanctioned entities and individuals in Gertler’s network now totals 34.
“Treasury is sanctioning companies that have enabled Dan Gertler to access the international financial system and profit from corruption and misconduct. We are using our tools to change the behavior of those engaged in the looting of natural resources and the humanitarian consequences that follow,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “A financial toll will be imposed on individuals and companies that exploit innocent people and vulnerable jurisdictions for their own personal gain.”
Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, in E.O. 13818 the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption had reached such scope and gravity to threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse and corruption, which undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. To that end, as of today, 73 individuals and entities have had their assets blocked under E.O. 13818. The United States will continue to take appropriate actions, including designating persons for sanctions, to respond to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the globe.
GERTLER AFFILIATED ENTITIES
The 14 Gertler-affiliated entities OFAC designated today are: Moku Mines D’or SA, Moku Goldmines AG, Fleurette Energy I B.V., Fleurette Africa Resources I B.V., African Trans International Holdings B.V., Fleurette African Transport B.V., Oriental Iron Company SPRL, Iron Mountain Enterprises Limited, Sanzetta Investments Limited, Almerina Properties Limited, Interlog DRC, Kitoko Food Farm, Karibu Africa Services SA, and Ventora Development Sasu.
This list of 14 companies owned or controlled by Gertler or his companies, and those previously designated, should not be viewed as exhaustive. The regulated community remains responsible for compliance with OFAC’s 50 percent rule.
For more information on the connection between corrupt senior foreign political figures and their enabling of human rights abuses, descriptions of a number of typologies used by them to access the U.S. financial system and obscure and further their illicit activity, and red flags that may assist financial institutions in identifying the methods used by corrupt senior foreign political figures, see FinCEN Advisory FIN-2018-A003, Advisory on Human Rights Abuses Enabled by Corrupt Senior Foreign Political Figures and their Financial Facilitators.
As a result of today’s action, any property, or interest in property, of those designated by OFAC within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons.