By Kieron Monks*
Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with enormous natural wealth, including vast deposits of precious minerals such as diamonds, gold, and tantalum.
This arrangement generated riches for the Congolese elite, and vastly more for the prospectors, but offered little to the poverty-ravaged population. From 1999 to 2002, the Kabila regime “transferred ownership of at least $5 billion of assets from the state-mining sector to private companies under its control… with no compensation or benefit for the State treasury,” a United Nations investigation found.
The growth of offshore banking in the late 20th century created new opportunities for resource tycoons to cover their tracks, a practice laid bare in the Panama Papers.