March 8, 2021 (Washington, DC) – The United States government has revoked a license from mining tycoon Dan Gertler, restoring sanctions previously imposed under the US Global Magnitsky anti-corruption program. The license, which in effect nullified the US sanctions on Gertler and a number of his businesses, had been granted in a secret action in the last days of the Trump administration, following a surge of insider lobbying.
The Sentry has been actively leading a broad advocacy effort, along with Congolese civil society groups and international NGOs, for this license revocation since The Sentry first publicly revealed the existence of the license in late January. Experts at The Sentry are available for comment.
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, said: “Dan Gertler’s corrupt partnership with former President Joseph Kabila cost the DRC dearly in terms of lost resources, lost services, and, ultimately, lost lives. Restoring the sanctions enables Congolese and US anti-corruption efforts to get back on track. Credit goes to the Biden administration and Congress for showing unity in protecting the integrity of the Global Magnitsky sanctions regime.”
- Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at The Sentry, said: “This is a victory for Congolese and US efforts to combat corruption, as Gertler has been at the heart of a kleptocratic system that has perpetuated poverty. Fighting that system through accountability and reforms is essential to security, human rights, and governance in the DR Congo, and much more progress must be made.”
Brad Brooks-Rubin, General Counsel at The Sentry, said: “The revocation of the license given to Dan Gertler and his network is a critical step for the Biden Administration to turn the page on the damaging process that led to its issuance in the first place. Sanctions and broader financial pressures need to be implemented and enforced in a consistent manner that inspires the confidence of financial institutions and our allies, which was undermined by this license. We encourage the Biden Administration to build on today’s action by designating additional companies in the Gertler network and by working with financial institutions to understand what damage was done during the period of the license.”
Gertler is an international businessman and billionaire who amassed a fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to official US Department of the Treasury statements. The sanctions were imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) through Executive Order 13818, which targets serious human rights abuse and corruption.