What does Dan Gertler and his business associates think of term limits in the DRC?
This piece from The Globe and Mail has some answers:
The cellphone message from the Israeli businessman was blunt and vulgar: The Canadian mining company must be “screwed and finished totally,” he told an associate as they negotiated a massive bribe to Congolese court officials to guarantee that the Canadian company would lose control of its copper mine.
Within hours of that 2008 message, the businessman and his associate had arranged a bribe of $500,000 (U.S.) to judges and other officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to court documents released in a U.S. corruption case.
A day later, the Israeli businessman obtained assurances that Congolese officials would ensure the Canadian company would lose its court fight against a local takeover of the copper mine, the U.S. documents say. Then, a week later, the Israeli won majority control of the company and the valuable asset.
The documents were released on Thursday in the settlement of a corruption case against Och-Ziff Capital Management, a U.S. hedge fund that manages $39-billion.
Och-Ziff agreed to pay $412-million in criminal and civil penalties, one of the biggest payments ever approved under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The U.S. documents show the hedge fund paid more than $100-million in bribes to officials in Congo, Libya, Chad, Niger and Guinea – including Congolese president Joseph Kabila – to gain corrupt influence and mining assets.
……. The hedge fund, Och-Ziff, went into partnership with the Israeli businessman and was involved in using intermediaries and business partners to funnel large bribe payments to officials in Congo and other African countries, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Och-Ziff was directly involved in financing the businessman’s acquisition of Africo, including his “legal expenses” in the case, the U.S. documents say.
As I have noted here and here, the DRC is a cherished playground for
thieves foreign investors who do not give a rats behind about the political, institutional, and economic consequences of their actions.
That said, Gertler would be advised to talk to Benny Steinmetz. There is a precedent of a change in leadership leading to repossession of a fraudulently obtained concession.
Kabila will not be in power in Kinshasa forever.