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US moves to seize luxury apartment linked to Ex Congo President 

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Denis Sassou Nguesso

The United States is moving to seize a luxurious Manhattan apartment, reportedly purchased with funds embezzled from the Congolese government for the daughter of ex-President Denis Sassou Nguesso, court documents revealed in New York on Monday. 

According to federal prosecutors, the apartment, situated on the 32nd floor of the Trump International Hotel and Tower near Central Park, was acquired in 2014 for $7.1 million and is linked to an “international conspiracy to launder funds” stolen from the Congolese government, Bloomberg first reported. 

In court filings, US prosecutors outline a convoluted network of banks, individuals, and shell companies purportedly utilized to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from the African nation. The apartment has reportedly remained unoccupied since its purchase a decade ago. 

The two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath apartment boasts breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Hudson River. It was allegedly bought for Claudia Lemboumba Sassou Nguesso, daughter of Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has held roles such as her father’s head of communications and a member of Congo’s parliament, as per the US complaint seeking forfeiture. 

 Congo’s ranking of 158th out of 180 countries for public corruption in 2023, shows the pervasive issue of corruption within the nation. Former President, Denis Sassou Nguesso is a Congolese politician and former military officer who became president of the Republic of the Congo in 1997. He served a previous term as president from 1979 to 1992. 

 The legal action by US authorities represents a significant development in the effort to combat financial crimes and hold accountable those involved in the illicit diversion of public funds for personal gain. 

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