A company called Sicotra; status; activities; possible ties to former President Mobutu (1997-October 2000) [RDC35466.FE]

Information on a Congolese company by the name of Sicotra limited in the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

In correspondence sent to the Research Directorate, Journaliste en danger (JED), a non-governmental Congolese organization advocating freedom of the press in the RDC, provided the following information about Sicotra:

1. Under Field Marshall Mobutu, SICOTRA was a private enterprise belonging to Seti Yale, special adviser on matters of Mobutu's security. Upon Kabila's arrival [17 May 1997], this company was placed under State control through the Office des biens mal acquis [an agency to deal with wrongfully-acquired property].
2. SICOTRA is or was developing in the river transport sector (there is even a port in Kinshasa called "Port Sicotra") by means of boats, the sale of frozen products, storehouses, the exploitation of coffee, etc.
3. Since the change of regime, Seti Yale has been in exile abroad (23 Oct. 2000).
In further correspondence, the same source added:
- Sicotra's beach installations on the Congo River accommodate police services. A prison is situated there as well (24 October 2000).

An article published on 31 May 1997 in The Indian Ocean Newsletter makes reference to a fortune assessed at 1.8 billion dollars belonging to Mobutu's former private adviser, Jean Seti Yale, a fortune amassed, through his Sicotra, Sopex and Modul2 companies, among others.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Journaliste en danger (JED) [Kinshasa]. 24 October 2000. Correspondence.

_____. 23 October 2000. Correspondence.

La Lettre de l'océan Indien [Paris]. 31 May 1997. "Afrique du Sud : Exiles dorés." (NEXIS).

Additional Sources Consulted


Africa Confidential 1997-2000.

IRB databases.

Resource Centre Country Files: Zaïre/RDC. 1997-1999.

Info-Congo/Kinshasa 1997-2000.

Jeune Afrique 1997-2000.

Internet sites, including:

BBC.

Congonline.

International Crisis Group (ICG).

Mail & Guardian.

Mbendi Africa's Leading Business Website.

Panafrican News Agency (PANA).

Le Soir.

Search engines, including:

Google.

Lycos.

Yahoo.

Le Soir.