According to Quartz Africa, the Sassou-Ngueso family, which has ruled Congo for nearly 40 years, allegedly laundered money through Trump condominiums. The daughter of Congo’s president used money stolen from the government to buy a $7 million condo in the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York. These allegations bring about new questions of Trump’s ties to international money laundering.
Claudia Sassou-Nguesso, who is both the daughter of president Denis Sassou-Nguesso and a member of parliament in Congo, purchased the condo in the summer of 2014. The money was apparently funneled through Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, and Delaware after being withdrawn from the Congolese treasury. Trump International Realty brokered the sale. A shell company set up by Jose Veiga, a Portuguese businessman, bought the condo for Sassou-Nguesso.
In 2017, Veiga said the apartment was owned by a company where he was a shareholder. He said the apartment was financed by him alone and “has nothing to do with third parties, namely the family of the President of Congo.”
Yet, a letter Veiga wrote to the Trump International board read: “This letter is sent to you on behalf of my good friend, Lauren Anne Marie Ikia Lemboumba, who have [sic] applied to purchase an apartment in Trump International Hotel & Tower Condominium.” Lauren Anne Marie Ikia Lemboumba is the daughter of Claudia Sassou-Nguesso.
The purchase occurred two years before Trump was elected president. A Trump Organization spokesperson said the apartment was purchased from a third party unrelated to the Trump Organization.
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