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The United States today imposed sanctions on gold refiner Alain Goetz and his network for the illicit movement of gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Our actions underscore the U.S. commitment to disrupt the illegal minerals trade in the DRC, which threatens the peace, security, and stability in the Great Lakes region.
Alain Goetz and his companies trade gold sourced from regions controlled by armed groups engaged in conflict in the DRC. These armed groups and their commanders attacked civilians and are implicated in atrocities, including ethnic massacres, rape, and forced recruitment of children. Conflict gold provides the largest source of revenue to armed actors in eastern DRC, including armed groups that profit through illegal taxation, raiding of mines, and collaboration with smugglers. Goetz, whose network spans across Uganda, the UAE, and Belgium, was convicted in 2020 in Belgium for money laundering and fraud in connection with his gold trade.
The United States will continue to support the DRC government’s efforts to tackle corruption, end impunity, promote economic growth, and enhance peace and security. This action underscores our efforts to make sure that the U.S.-DRC Privileged Partnership for Peace, Prosperity, and Preservation of the Environment (PP4PPP) delivers for the Congolese and American people.
Issued by Ned Price, Department Spokesperson