After years of highly publicized trials in Europe, a new judicial case has been opened on allegedly "ill-gotten gains" by the family of Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of Congo-Brazzaville, in the United States this time. Two Florida federal prosecutors have initiated proceedings last month on the behalf of the United States Department of Justice to seize a luxury property in Florida estimated at close to $ 3 million, which they claim was acquired by Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, the son of the Congolese dictator Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
According to the case proceedings, the property was acquired with embezzled public money, between 2011 and 2014, when the son of the president was number 2 of the Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (National Society of Petroleum of Congo - SNPC)
A Typical case of Nepotism and Kleptocracy by African Dictators
The case against Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso is an “illustration of the full cycle of kleptocracy”, which goes as follows: They loot their countries, swim in a sea of wealth and orgies farther from their homelands, mostly in Western foreign lands, especially the United States, while their people are starving or dying from easily preventable diseases, and their killing squads are brutally murdering those who dare to speak up against corruption, embezzlement and tyranny.
"They" are tyrants and corrupt foreign leaders and their relatives, a large number from Africa. After siphoning the economies of their countries, they use the loot to buy mansions, Yachts, rare paintings and artworks, luxury mansions or apartments, jewelry, million dollar cars, and other expensive items in the United States of America or hide the money via Panama, through shell companies. What is remaining is spent on gambling, orgies, and never ending parties.
But this is changing, thanks to the United States government. A few years ago, the US Department of Justice has decided that enough is enough and that these tyrants and corrupts need to pay their homelands and people back. (see AfroAmerica Network: Kleptocrat Dictators: US Department of Justice Steps Up Investigation Efforts)
In the case of Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, the evidences allegedly show that between 2007 and 2017, Denis Christel spend more than $ 29 million on luxury items and to finance the lavish lifestyle of his family and himself. The houses bought are in Miami, Florida, United States of America. This amount corresponds to around 10 percent of the Congolese health budget in 2020, according to anti-corruption Non Government Organization Global Witness.
Steps in the Kleptocracy by Denis Christel Sasso-Nguesso.
Based on the prosecution case, Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso allegedly followed multiple steps to hide his kleptocratic operations.
First step: divert the money from the account of the Société nationale des pétroles du Congo (SNPC) to those of one of its front companies. He ordered the bank holding the money to transfer to offshore shell companies.
Second step: send the allegedly stolen money to the United States, to the accounts of a nominee, only known as “Associate A”, and described in the American justice document as the “son of a former senior Gabonese official”. To justify these transfers and conceal the origin of the funds, fake contracts and invoices were submitted. The partner then used lawyers in Florida and other schemes, including fake passports, to acquire property for sale at the time for $ 2.8 million.
At the moment, prosecutors are targeting the Miami property in the confiscation procedure. They plan also to target a second property located in Coral Gables, near Miami, with a value of $ 2.4 million, which is registered under Danielle Ognanosso, Denis Christel Sasso-Nguesso first wife, as well than other goods in France.
Other Kleptocrats Under Watch.
Sources have told AfroAmerica Network that American prosecutors are eyeing properties owned by relatives of several African dictators in the United States.
The US Government wants these dictators, their families and relatives to return the laundered money, at least what is remaining of it, to where it came from. For that, the US has set up a special unit, at the Justice Department, known as the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, under Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS). So far, the unit has pursued cases involving dictators, corrupt foreign officials and royalty.