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DR Congo data leak: Millions transferred to Joseph Kabila allies

Companies of friends and family of the former Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila had millions of dollars of public funds funnelled through their bank accounts. The data was collected through Africa’s biggest data leak and showed the money was transferred to the company accounts at the Congolese arm of the BGFI bank. After the transfer of funds, millions of dollars in cash were taken out of the accounts. Joseph Kabila was president at the time of the bank account movement. 

The data leak revealed over three million documents and information on millions of transactions at the Banque Gabonaise et Fraçaise Internationale (BGFI) bank. This bank functions in several African countries and France. The information from the leak was obtained by French investigative journal Mediapart and the NGO Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa. Access was given to BBC Africa Eye as coordinated by the media network European Investigative Collaborations. The data leak and investigation raises questions about who benefitted from the transfers and conflicts of interests with the President. 

Mr. Kabila’s foster-brother was the managing director of BGFI’s DR Congo subsidiary, BGFI Banque RDC from 2012 to 2018. Mr. Kabila’s sister owned 40% of BGFI’s DR Congo operation after 2010. Sud Oil received nearly $86 million in public funds from November 2013 to August 2017 with the only information concerning these payments was an invoice for just over $1 million for petroleum products. Mr. Kabila’s sister-in-law owned 80% of Sud Oil and his sister owned the other 20%. The bank allowed high-value cash withdrawals from Sud Oil accounts, which exceeded the $10,000 allowed each day by law. BBC Africa Eye found no evidence that correct procedures were followed in the case of the withdrawals, which totaled at least $50 million over four years.

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