The United States has reinstated sanctions against international businessman Dan Gertler, a close ally of former president Joseph Kabila whose interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo are under renewed scrutiny.
Gertler was placed under U.S. Magnitsky sanctions in 2017 but was issued a one-year reprieve in January by outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump.
Tuesday’s decision revokes the special temporary license issued to Gertler because it “is inconsistent with America’s strong foreign policy interests in combatting corruption around the world, specifically including U.S. efforts to counter corruption and promote stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),” said the U.S. Department of State.
“Mr. Gertler engaged in extensive public corruption,” the U.S. statement adds. “The United States stands firmly with our partners in the DRC to counter malign behavior that undermines the country’s institutions and economic opportunities.”
Gertler’s dealings are at the center of planned testimony from two Afriland First Bank whistleblowers, auditors Gradi Koko Lobanga and Navy Malela. Afriland was named in a July 2020 report from the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa and Global Witness, which charges the bank is at the center of a scheme used by Gertler and his associates to work around the sanctions.
“These revelations have led to investigations by international media outlets that will be published in the coming days,” said PPLAAF last month.
Image: U.S. Department of State file