US top construction company placed in custody in Congo

The CEO of a public works company has been remanded in custody in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of an investigation into abuses in Kinshasa. This was learned from government sources.

The managing director of Safricas-Congo, David Blattner, who is a US citizen, was “remanded in custody” on Friday in an investigation aimed at demonstrating “renewal” in the Congolese courts, said a government source. The director is suspected of “abuse of trust”.

The businessman’s assets include the airline CAA and the bank BIAC, which has been in difficulty since 2016. His company Safricas-Congo, together with Chinese companies, is building seven bridges for road traffic in Kinshasa.

Almost a year after the launch of the project, not a single bridge has been completed and congestion has worsened.

At the request of President Félix Tshisekedi, the public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into “the use of government funds” received by the companies to carry out the construction work, the government says.

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