Congo’s rampant illicit finance problems put the international financial system at risk, as corrupt actors and criminals take advantage of the country’s weak law enforcement
Washington, D.C. – A new report published today by The Sentry reveals that the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing are inadequate. The report comes at a crucial time as the Action Group Against Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), a regional expert group, conducts an assessment this week of Congo’s ability to combat money laundering and terror financing.
The report, “A Window for Kleptocrats: Weak AML/CFT framework implementation in DR Congo creates money laundering and terrorist financing opportunities,” points out that Congo’s rampant illicit finance problems put the international financial system at risk, as corrupt actors and criminals take advantage of the country’s weak law enforcement, inadequate legal framework, and largely cash-based economy to launder money.
Josh White, Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said: “The findings of The Sentry’s assessment underscore the need for Congolese authorities to take serious action to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in their financial system. If Congo hopes to maintain access to the international financial system, it is incumbent on Congolese authorities to bolster their efforts to take serious action on the recommendations of this report. Banks around the world who do business with Congo should take special note of our findings, and urge their Congolese counterparts to work with the country’s authorities to do better.”
Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “Systemic corruption continues to eat at the Congolese state’s ability to effectively serve its people, as well as fueling violent conflict. Several key reforms are needed to combat this, but the most important is for private sector and other stakeholders to hold the Congolese authorities responsible for addressing the inadequacies and lack of implementation of these laws.”
The report urges GABAC to conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure that Congo receives the necessary guidance, and that the international financial system is made aware of pertinent risks. The report also recommends that the Congolese government take concrete steps toward strengthening its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism) regime, including:
Click here to read the full report.
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, +1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject
About THE SENTRY
The Sentry is composed of financial forensic investigators, policy analysts, and regional experts who follow the dirty money and build investigative cases focusing on the corrupt transnational networks most responsible for Africa’s deadliest conflicts. By creating a significant financial cost to these kleptocrats through network sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, and other tools, The Sentry aims to disrupt the profit incentives for mass atrocities and oppression, and creates new leverage in support of peace efforts and African frontline human rights defenders. The Sentry’s partner, the Enough Project, undertakes high-level advocacy with policy-makers around the world as well as wide-reaching education campaigns by mobilizing students, faith-based groups, celebrities, and others. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of Not On Our Watch (NOOW) and the Enough Project. The Sentry currently focuses its work in South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.
In less than two years, The Sentry has created hard-hitting reports and converted extensive research into a large volume of dossiers on individuals and entities connected to grand corruption, violence, or serious human rights abuses. The investigative team has turned those dossiers over to government regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world, as well as to compliance officers at the world’s largest banks.
Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.