According to a series of court documents obtained by DRC 7sur7 online media, Belgian justice authorities have seized about 18 million US Dollars from the Congolese Central Bank (BCC) as a partial enforcement of a court ruling handed down against the regulator on 22 June 2012 to pay 30 million US Dollars in damages to World Connection Company.
Kinshasa Trade Court condemned the BCC in a case dating back to 1994 when the regulator held the monopoly to sell gold and diamond abroad on behalf of the DRC and repatriating the proceeds of the sale of these minerals back to the country. It is reported BCC in that year sold diamond in the amount of 7 million US Dollars in Antwerp, Belgium, but repatriated only 4 million US Dollars, the remaining 3 million US Dollars having gone missing.
World Connection litigated against the DRC government in Kinshasa but the court ruling failed to be enforced, the Congolese government objecting that it was baseless. The company then decided to seek a ruling from the Belgian jurisdiction, which could be enforced upon the DRC, a procedure legal experts describe as the exequatur. It enables the enforcement of ruling rendered in foreign jurisdiction on the assets of the condemned, where these assets are found.
BCC confiscated money was held in various bank accounts in Belgium, and the exequatur made it possible to seize them.
This comes at a time when BCC came under criticism for its poor handling of the BIAC case which recently placed under regulatory management. BCC is also blamed for failing to contain inflation in the country, with its reserves constantly dwindling.