U.S. Urges Congolese Banks to Step Up Fight on Illegal Financing

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. said banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo must increase their efforts to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.

U.S. authorities recommended the lenders “put in place rigorous control and monitoring of the accounts of politically exposed people,” according to a statement issued by the Association of Congolese Banks on July 4. The association met officials from the Department of Commerce, the State Department and Treasury during a June 10-12 visit to the U.S., it said.

The U.S. is “very optimistic” about the country’s prospects following elections in December last year, in which former opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi succeed Joseph Kabila as president, the association added.

Washington in June imposed sanctions on Corneille Nangaa, the head of Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission, and two other officials for their alleged “persistent corruption” and delaying the vote that originally had been scheduled for late 2016.

The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Israeli businessman Dan Gertler in December 2017, alleging he used his friendship with Kabila to amass a fortune through corrupt and opaque mining and oil deals.

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