BVI Watch: Congo's opaque mining deals may have lost the state $5.5 billion
Congo mining concessions have been regularly sold at a fraction of their worth to shadow companies outside Congo.
By Jason Stearns, Guest blogger / November 21, 2011
The British parliament released a statement yesterday suggesting that the Congo had lost up to $5.5 billion in state assets through the undervaluation of mining concessions. Eric Joyce, who is head of his legislature's Great Lakes working group, backed up his allegation with a raft of documents from the Congo, the British Virgin Islands, and the United Kingdom.
Read more from the Christian Science Monitor, as well as Eric Joyce's Congo Fire Sale, Congo Fire Sale 2, and Congo Fire Sale 3.
TJN has criticised many offshore jurisdictions in the past - and we stand by all our criticisms. But we think that at this point we need to single out The British Virgin Islands far more than we have so far. It is, to put it bluntly, a vicious, sleazy, corrupted rogue state within the global financial system.
Again and again and again, those who are investigating scandals find their trails leading to the BVI. The Congo case is no exception.
The BVI is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. It is a source of disgrace to the entire British nation state that this jurisdiction should be allowed to operate as a beserker in the global economy, helping wreck whole nations in the pursuit of the narrow interests of a small few.
We are targeting financial interests here, not the ordinary people of the BVI. But given the seriousness of what the pinstripe infrastructure in (and related to) the BVI are doing, it would be quite appropriate to shut this rogue state out of the global financial system.