US President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to snap back sanctions against Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler after they were eased by former President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Gertler was allegedly involved in corrupt mining deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sanctions against him were practically lifted until January 31 of 2022 by then-US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is looking into the matter, according to the report.
The Treasury imposed the sanctions in December 2017 and June 2018, accusing Gertler of using his friendship with Congo's former President Joseph Kabila to secure sweetheart mining deals worth more than a billion dollars.
The sanctions prohibited Gertler from doing business with US citizens, companies or banks, effectively barring him from doing transactions in dollars.
Gertler has always denied any wrongdoing and argued that his investments in Congo contributed significantly to the country's development.
However, while the sanctions technically remained in place, Mnuchin had a license issued that allowed Gertler an exemption from them until 2021. The license was kept from the public and was reported on by The Sentry, a Washington D.C.-based anti-corruption group last month.
The Sentry's managing director Brad Brooks-Rubin said at the time that "this was done behind closed doors" and warned that the exemptions did not serve US security or geostrategic interests. The State Department’s Africa bureau was also opposed to the decision.
Gertler was unavailable for comment as the report was released on Shabbat.