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11.11.11 et al vs. Belgolaise

Case overview

Date filed 24 November 2004
Current status Rejected
Issue Belgian 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).

In November, 2004, a group of Belgian NGOs filed a complaint against Belgolaise Bank and 3 other Belgian companies concerning the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the DRC. The complaint against Belgolaise was based on the findings of the abovementioned Panel of Experts and alleges that “elite networks” of political and military elites and businesspersons fueled the conflict in order to retain their control over the country’s vast natural resources. It was also alleged that MIBA (the Congolese state-run diamond company) accounts held by Belgolaise Bank have been used to transfer earnings of MIBA to high-level government officials for their personal benefit or for weapons purchases. Through a network of correspondent banks, Belgolaise Bank facilitated financial transactions for the elite networks of Uganda and Rwanda that are also engaged in the exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the RDC.

Developments/Outcome The case against Belgolaise was rejected due to the existence of ongoing legal procedures. The complainants note that the NCP’s decision was never formally communicated. They learned about the NCP’s decision in the OECD’s annual report in 2005.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Political involvement, Financial sector, Investment nexus, Parallel (legal) proceedings, United Nations, Violent conflict

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Belgium
NCP address Rue du Progrès 50 1210 Brussels, Belgium
NCP website www.ocde-principesdirecteurs.fgov.be
Other NCPs involved

Complainants

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible Belgolaise
Company address Kantersteen 1
B-1000 Brussels
Belgium
Company website
Company in violation Belgolaise
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
15 June 2005 National Contact Point Belgium The NCP rejected the case due to the existence of ongoing legal procedures.  
24 November 2004 Wereldmediahuis vzw file A group of 15 Belgian NGOs filed a complaint at the Belgian NCP against Belgolaise Bank for its involvement in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the DRC. download pdf (39Kb)  

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