Jan 16, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT
Dikembe Mutombo is a guy known nearly as well for his international humanitarian efforts as his post-block finger wag. A guy well respected around the league.
But this could ruin that reputation — Mutombo was at the heart of a dirty deal to move $10 million in Congolese gold out of that nation and to the United States, reports the Houston Chronicle.
It is a complex story but it starts with this fact — gold being moved out of the Congo is essentially a “blood mineral” the way “blood diamonds” have been a problem in parts of the world. Mafia-like organizations control the mining and sale of the gold, then are using the money from that to fund a civil war in the nation that has cost more than 5 million lives.
This situation involves Houston business man Kase Lawal, who allegedly was approached by Mutombo to move more than 1,000 pounds of gold — worth more than $10 million on the open market — out of the Congo. The two men and others decided to work together but at the last second the deal fell apart when Lawal’s private plane was seized by Congolese militia (loaded with gold and cash).
It is a messy situation. There have been no arrests or charges, but Mutombo does not come off well in this picture — a guy who talks of humanitarian needs on one hand and tries to profit from conflict minerals on the other. He did not comment on the story.
Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating and disturbing. And while it is hard to discern the truth, nobody comes off looking good. Especially not Mutombo.
- Report: Klay Thompson’s camp ‘frustrated’ Warriors have yet to offer a max contract extension 6
- Report: Kobe Bryant viewed Dwight Howard leaving Lakers in free agency as ‘a positive’ 43
- Report: Cavaliers have had ‘zero discussion’ on contract extension with Tristan Thompson 19
- Why I am going to miss Steve Nash 26
- Victor Oladipo out indefinitely after taking elbow in practice, suffering facial fracture 13
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: New Orleans Pelicans 10
- Five teams poised to make a big leap forward this season 5
- Steve Nash to miss entire 2014-15 season with ongoing back injuries 70