US to seize luxury NYC apartment allegedly bought with stolen funds from Congo

The United States wants to confiscate a luxury apartment in Manhattan, allegedly purchased with funds embezzled from the government of the Republic of Congo for the daughter of the country’s longtime President, Denis Sassou Nguesso.

This was revealed in a court paper made public in New York Monday.

According to federal prosecutors, the apartment, situated on the 32nd floor of the Trump International Hotel and Tower near Central Park’s southwest corner, was acquired in 2014 for $7.1 million, and it has been linked to “an international conspiracy to launder funds” stolen from the Congo government, Bloomberg reported.

US prosecutors have outlined in court papers a complicated network involving banks, individuals, and shell companies allegedly used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from the African country. The government stated that the apartment has likely remained unoccupied since its acquisition a decade ago

According to the forfeiture complaint filed by the US, the two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath corner apartment comes with stunning views of the city skyline and the Hudson River.

It was purchased for Claudia Lemboumba Sassou Nguesso, daughter of President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo. Claudia has served intermittently as her father’s head of communications and as a member of Congo’s parliament.

Despite being home to some of the world’s most precious natural resources, rampant corruption and a lack of transparency have hindered the country’s ability to harness its resources for sustainable development.

Congo was ranked 158th out of 180 countries for public corruption in 2023 by Transparency International.

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