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RAID vs. Oryx

Case overview

Date filed 28 June 2004
Current status Concluded
Issue UK companies & illegal resource exploitation in DRC
Summary of the case In October 2002, a United Nations Panel of Experts accused 85 OECD-based companies of violating the Guidelines for their direct or indirect roles in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Oryx was cited by the Panel, because of its involvement in illicit diamond trading. The Panel alleged that there was a secret profit sharing agreement whereby Oryx and the Government of Zimbabwe were each to take 40 per cent of the net cash inflow from Sengamines, one of MIBA’s (the Congolese state-run diamond company) richest diamond concessions. In effect Oryx was being used as a front for Zimbabwean Defense Forces and its military company OSLEG.The complainants stated that there was evidence that there were proposals made for a joint Zimbabwe-DRC company to be set up in Mauritius to disguise the continuing economic interests of ZDF in the DRC. According to the complainants there is also evidence that Sengamines served as a front for illegal foreign exchange transactions using several routes into and out of the DRC.


Developments/Outcome In July 2004, the UK NCP accepted the complaint; however, RAID was prohibited from taking part in the negotiation process for one year while the NCP engaged in extensive discussions with Oryx. Most of the complaint was rejected on the grounds that a UN Panel had resolved the issue.

The NCP insisted RAID re-submit its complaint in April 2005. RAID was allowed to participate in the proceedings in April 2005, but under very restrictive and summary procedures. RAID was able to comment on the NCP’s draft statement, which was the only area in which the UK NCP followed the Guidelines’ complaint procedures. The majority of issues raised in the complaint were disallowed by the NCP on grounds that they had been “resolved” by the UN Panel. The final statement was highly unsatisfactory for the complainants and did not incorporate any of its recommendations.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Extractives / mining sector, Human rights, Anti-competitive practices, Political involvement, Environment, United Nations, Violent conflict, Bribery / Corruption

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address 1-19 Victoria Street SW1H 0ET London, United Kingdom
NCP website www.berr.gov.uk
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible Oryx National Resources
Company address
London
United Kingdom
Company website http://www.oryxnaturalresources.com/
Company in violation Oryx National Resources
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Some developments are only visible to logged in users.
Date Actor Action Description Document
1 June 2005 National Contact Point United Kingdom statement NCP’s comments on the file issued by RAID. According to the NCP, “There appears to be little confidence between the two parties in this instance and no prospect of an agreed settlement. The NCP is unable to form any further conclusion over the application of the Guidelines”. download pdf (145Kb)  
6 May 2005 Rights and Accountability in Development report Timeline of proceedings of the Oryx case from October 2002 until May 2005. download pdf (23Kb)  
28 June 2004 Rights and Accountability in Development file Complaint filed with US NCP download pdf (49Kb)  

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