On 9 July, Global Witness published Part 3 of its series on alleged kleptocracy in the Republic of Congo as US federal prosecutors move to seize a Miami penthouse of Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, the son of Republic of Congo’s president, a sitting MP and former powerful figure in the national oil company, SNPC. The complaint filed in the US is said to detail how he allegedly embezzled millions of dollars of public funds from SNPC, laundered it through a network of shell companies and used it to buy expensive real estate and luxury goods in the US, France and elsewhere. From 2007 to 2017, he spent more than $29 million acquiring assets and paying for his and his family’s lavish lifestyle, according to the US prosecutors – a sum equivalent to around 10% of Congo’s 2020 health budget. He allegedly accepted bribes worth over $1.5 million from oil companies.
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