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Congo’s Illegal Gold Trade Seen Benefiting Foreign Companies

  • Profiting comes despite global regulations to clean up sector
  • UN has warned Congo exporters ignoring due-diligence steps
Updated on

Foreign companies and armed groups are profiting from an illegal trade in gold in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo despite international regulations intended to clean up the sector, Global Witness said.

One Chinese company that operates gold-dredging boats in the region smuggled as much as $17 million worth of the metal out of the country during a 12-month period between 2014 and 2015, the London-based advocacy group said in a report published Tuesday. Armed groups made as much as $25,000 a month in illegal taxes extorted from artisanal diggers and received at least two assault rifles and $4,000 from the company over a two-year period, it said.