Press Release / / 12.08.22

BREAKING: EU Sanctions Goetz for Illicit Gold Trade


EU Sanctions Belgian Businessman Alain Goetz for Illicit Gold Trade

December 8, 2022 (Washington, DC) — Today, the European Union (EU) announced sanctions on Alain Goetz, the beneficial owner and former director of the African Gold Refinery in Uganda, for his involvement in the illicit exploitation and trade of gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Investigations by The Sentry, including a major report “The Golden Laundromat,” previously raised concerns around the gold trade activities of Goetz, the refinery, and linked companies, calling for targeted sanctions to be considered. Goetz was placed under sanctions by the United States for these activities in March 2022.

Sasha Lezhnev, Policy Consultant at The Sentry, said: “Conflict gold has been a key fuel to the violence in eastern DR Congo. Today’s EU sanctions against Belgian gold dealer Alain Goetz are a strong measure to help halt exploitation of the conflict. There’s finally a cost to trading conflict gold.”

Anrike Visser, Policy Consultant at The Sentry, said: “The Sentry welcomes the decision of the EU to sanction Goetz and protect the Union from being misused for illicit gold trade and sanction evasion.”

The announcement further includes mention of Goetz’ exploitation of the “armed conflict, instability and insecurity in the DRC” through his connections with non-governmental armed groups involved in destabilizing activities.

The action was made by implementing Decision 2010/788/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

EU announcement:

Read The Golden Laundromat report:


For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, [email protected]org

About The Sentry
(Short descriptor for press use: “The Sentry, an investigative organization that tracks corruption”)
The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy. Pull back the curtain on wars, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses, and you’ll find grand corruption and unchecked greed. These tragedies persist because the perpetrators rarely face meaningful consequences. The Sentry aims to alter the warped incentive structures that continually undermine peace and good governance. Our investigations follow the money as it is laundered from war zones to financial centers around the world. We provide evidence and strategies for governments, banks, and law enforcement to hold the perpetrators and enablers of violence and corruption to account. These efforts provide new leverage for human rights, peace, and anti-corruption efforts.