Anti-corruption NGO Global Witness is alleging that the daughter of the president of the Republic of Congo used stolen government money to buy a multi-million dollar condo at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City. The apartment was purchased in 2014 before President Donald Trump even announced his candidacy for president.
The apartment, Unit 32G was purchased for $7 million, allegedly with funds stolen from the Congo government. While the Congo is, on the whole, a poor nation, it’s also the fourth largest producer of oil in sub-Saharan Africa. The country has been ruled by the Sassou-Nguesso family for nearly 40 years.
Global Witness alleges that the money was first funneled through Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, and finally Delaware before being used to purchase the $7 million condo in Trump Tower. Trump-owned companies were, according to Global Witness, involved in the sale.
The condo was purchased by a shell company owned by Portuguese businessman Jose Veiga, who has claimed that only his funds were used to close the deal. However, Global Witness claims that they have reviewed a letter sent by Veiga to the Trump International board that states: “This letter is sent to you on behalf of my good friend, Lauren Anne Marie Ikia Lemboumba, who have [sic] applied to purchase an apartment in Trump International Hotel & Tower Condominium.”
Lauren Anne Marie Ikia Lemboumba is the daughter of Claudia Sassou-Nguesso. While the initial purchase was made before Trump was elected president, condo owners in Trump Tower must pay thousands of dollars a year in fees to the Trump Organization.