March 9, 2021
(Kinshasa) – Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should quash the death sentences imposed in absentia on two whistleblowers who provided information on corruption. Congolese authorities should instead investigate the allegations of criminal activity reported by Gradi Koko and Navy Malela, two former bank employees who exposed alleged illegal financial practices and money laundering.
Koko and Malela both worked in the audit department of Afriland First Bank CD, the Congolese subsidiary of Afriland First Bank, whose headquarters are in Cameroon. Koko said that in 2018 his superiors at the bank directly threatened him after he reported serious financial irregularities internally. In the face of these threats, he and Malela shared a trove of data and documents with the Platform for the Protection of African Whistleblowers (PPLAAF), a nongovernmental organization based in France. The information they provided led to a series of investigative reports in July 2020 by PPLAAF, Global Witness, and media outlets, including Bloomberg, Le Monde, and Haaretz.
“Congolese authorities have made a mockery of the rule of law by prosecuting two whistleblowers for revealing information of major public interest that’s critically important to Congolese institutions,” said Thomas Fessy, senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Their convictions should be quashed, and their revelations should be the basis for independent and impartial investigations.”
Continue reading tawww.hrw.org
Congolese Whistleblowers, Who Allegedly Exposed Israeli Oligarch’s Efforts To Evade US Sanctions, Identify Themselves
By Kevin Gosztola
02 Mar 2021
Israeli businessman Dan Gertler allegedly established a “money laundering network” designed to evade United States sanctions against him. He also was accused of using the network to “acquire new mining assets” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On February 26, two Congolese whistleblowers identified themselves as the source of these and other disclosures involving Afriland First Bank.
“The whistleblowers, Navy Malela and Gradi Koko, worked for several years in the audit department of Afriland First Bank, the Congolese subsidiary of a Cameroonian bank,” the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers (PPLAAF) in Africa declared. “They blew the whistle internally then transmitted these compromising documents to NGOs and journalists at great risk to their personal safety and that of their families.”
“One of them was seriously threatened, and they had no choice but to go into exile in Europe,” PPLAAF added.
There are unconfirmed reports that troublingly suggest a Kinshasa court issued a death sentence against the former bank employees.
Malela responded, “It would be incredible if whistleblowers are being sentenced to death without having the opportunity to defend themselves, while those who enable the Congolese people’s money to disappear are not being prosecuted.”
Continue reading at shadowproof.com