The Congo: Bare Cupboard

Awaiting the victorious United Nations at the National Bank of Katanga in Elisabethville were some legitimate spoils —or so it seemed. There should have been $16.2 million in Congolese francs originally deposited in the bank to support the currency of Moise Tshombe's Katanga—and U.N. officials hoped to turn it over to the Congo government for reconstruction. But when they got there, Tshombe's cupboard was bare.

For weeks, the bank's directors had refused to open their files and strongrooms to U.N. investigators, and now the reason for their reluctance was clear. Most of...

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