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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

Repatriation of Stolen Congolese Assets from San Marino

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Situation


ILP has worked in Mozambique and the Republic of Congo to return millions in stolen assets to the true victims of corruption - citizens. When the tiny principality of San Marino seized €100 million in bank accounts used by the Congolese President, ILP was asked to play an intermediary role between the San Marinese government and the Congolese NGOs to return the stolen monies to the Congolese citizens. Despite large deposits of oil wealth, the population of the Republic of Congo suffers from extreme poverty and insecurity.


President Denis Sassou Nguesso has been accused of multiple human rights violations including bombing villages voting against him.



 


ILP’s Action


ILP assembled a team of top Italian lawyers, supported by a working group of international repatriation experts to represent Congolese citizens. ILP’s lawyers were invited to meet in-person with the Prime Minister of San Marino to put forward the Congolese petition for the seized monies to fund development aid.


 

Impact


The Prime Minister was sympathetic to the request and asked that to act on this further, ILP’s task force produced a report for him that he could share with his cabinet detailing the treaty violations of their actions and international best practice on repatriation by fellow European states. The Prime Minister also asked ILP for help on how to structure a repatriation to avoid embezzlement by Congolese officials and what amendments would be required to San Marino’s laws to allow for this and future reparations. Depriving the corrupt of the fruits of their crimes is a deterrent to others and helps to redress the economic damage caused by corruption.

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