This press release originally appeared on the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s website. To view it there, please click here.
Amsterdam – 4 March 2020 – The Dutch Postcode Lottery has donated millions to the fight against corruption and self-enrichment of war criminals around the world. Today, The Sentry received a contribution of 6.3 million Euros to support its work countering war criminals who benefit from violence, primarily by shutting the perpetrators out of the international financial system. The US-based but globally staffed investigations team at The Sentry follows the proceeds of financial crimes originating in war-torn East and Central African countries, tracking that money to where it has been hidden in banks, real estate, and other money laundering destinations throughout the world.
The organization received the good news at the Postcode Lottery’s yearly Charity Gala, as the Dutch Postcode Lottery announced the total amount raised for charities dedicated to improve planet and people in the year 2019: more than 376 million euro’s.
George Clooney, Co-Founder of The Sentry, said: “The Dutch Postcode Lottery and its players are making the world a better place through this incredibly important contribution.”
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, said: “With this donation, The Sentry will significantly scale its work to make war criminals pay. The Sentry aims to leverage local and international strategic partnerships and scale its investigations in order to disrupt the system that fuels conflict in East and Central Africa. This project aims to help protect vulnerable people and communities in this war-torn region, most directly the approximately 13.5 million who are currently displaced by violence in The Sentry’s four countries of immediate focus: Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic.”
Accountability for human rights abuses fueled by corruption
The Sentry aims to stop warlords, politicians, and their international business networks from benefiting from corruption, violence, and human rights violations by shutting them out of the international financial system. The Sentry works together with international organizations, independent media, banks, and governments, and has proven to be successful in its approach. Since its launch in 2016, assets have been frozen from individuals who tried to illegally transfer funds abroad, predatory companies have been sanctioned, and banks have investigated and shut down money-laundering routes to and from several countries. In some cases, The Sentry has exposed how funds intended for development instead disappeared into the pockets of corrupt and violent actors and their networks.
It is vital that the work to stop these actors involves a deepened partnership between The Sentry and existing international and local anti-corruption and human rights organizations and coalitions, as well as intensified direct engagement with those in government and the private sector who can take meaningful action. This donation will provide catalytic support to those ongoing efforts and enable The Sentry to significantly contribute to altering the entire system that fuels conflicts and stopping the illicit flow of billions of dollars.
Margriet Schreuders, Head of the Charity Department at the Dutch Postcode Lottery, said: “Human rights are at stake. By tackling impunity and by ensuring corruption no longer pays, it is possible to help end human rights abuses enabled by corruption in East and Central Africa. With this financial contribution, The Sentry will strengthen its work with those in the region who are best placed to fight and win this battle.”
About The Sentry
The Sentry is an investigative and policy team that follows the dirty money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers and seeks to shut those benefiting from violence out of the international financial system. By disrupting the cost-benefit calculations of those who hijack governments for self-enrichment in East and Central Africa, the deadliest war zone globally since World War II, we seek to counter the main drivers of conflict and create new leverage for peace, human rights, and good governance. The Sentry is composed of financial investigators, international human rights lawyers, and regional experts, as well as former law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, policymakers, investigative journalists, and banking professionals. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is a flagship initiative and strategic partner of the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.