Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 11:30 am  |  44 responses

Report: Dikembe Mutombo Involved in Major Gold Scam

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Throughout his life and basketball career, Dikembe Mutombo was known for blocking shots, wagging his finger after said blocked shots, and for doing tireless humanitarian work in the Congo.

According to some business associates of Mutombo’s, Dikembe’s name and image aren’t entirely clean. They allege that the retired big man was part of a multi-million dollar gold scam.

The Houston Chronicle has a fascinating report on the sordid affair:

Mutombo was in New York on a more personal cause — trying to interest a Houston oil executive in a $10 million deal to buy 1,045 pounds of gold from the mines of eastern Congo, the heart of the conflict mineral trade. If Mutombo had reservations about the apparent contradiction between word and deed, he did not show it. He eagerly explained how he and his family had 4 tons of Congolese gold just waiting for a buyer. Enter Kase Lawal. As chairman of CAMAC, a Houston energy company, Lawal knew Mutombo from the latter’s final days with the Houston Rockets — and he knew how to do business in Africa. Lawal moved to Houston from Nigeria as a young man and built a company that prospered in large measure because of his operations there and in neighboring countries. Better yet, he had millions of dollars at his disposal, a corporate jet big enough to move extra cargo and an old family friend, Carlos St. Mary, with experience trading Third World minerals.

In truth, the deal was an elaborate scam that ended at an airport in Goma with the seizure of the Gulfstream V jet and the arrest of St. Mary and several CAMAC employees, all suddenly facing accusations of money laundering and attempted smuggling. More than 1,000 pounds of gold pulled from the cargo hold was taken away by Congolese officials. Two bags containing $6.6 million in cash were gone as well, into the pockets of a local general whose loyal troops oversee much of the nearby mining operations. To make matters worse, Lawal had to pay millions more to recover his plane and his people. St. Mary said Lawal later told him the entire ordeal cost him around $30 million. [...] Not only had Mutombo initiated the deal, St. Mary said, but he and his family played a key role from the onset, one not revealed until recently with the release of a United Nations report on Congo’s militia activity that recounts the incident.

There are many more details in the report from the Chronicle, which I encourage you to read in its entirety.

Not too surprisingly, Mutombo had no comment when asked about the allegations.

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  • neaorin

    please Sir do not delay in your actions to complete our Transaction You should rest assure this business transaction is 100% SECURE AND RISK FREE FOR YOU AND THE NEEDED INFORMATION WILL BE RELAYED TO YOU AS

  • rich

    im sure he will do something socially worthy with the money i hope he is involved in a scheme to screw over donald trump next

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com/ Seth

    *finger wag*

  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    modern day robin hood

  • http://slamonline.com nbk


  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    is there a gold club joke here somewere?

  • Patrick

    So I just read the article, and I didn’t see any evidence whatsoever that any crime was committed. Maybe the law enforcement is corrupt and was in need to seize (ie. steal) some assets for themselves.

  • http://sfjklf.com Jukai

    I’m kind of confused as well. Anyone want to explain this to me in stupid English for me to understand?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    “Because of an internal ban on mining and exports, imposed to try to stop the main revenue source for the mafia-like militias that controlled them, the gold could not be taken to market in usual ways. What Mutombo needed was somebody with money, connections and the ability to put a deal together.” – Slam left this crucial part out Jukai.

  • OTB

    Damnit, NBK, you took my line.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Holy sh*t man.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    When asked to comment Dikembe Mutombo silently wagged his finger at the reporter.

  • http://www.myspace.com/mikebone Simmy Sosa


  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    This isn’t news, it goes on everyday in Africa. The government and upper class do everything in their power to rid the country of it’s natural resources while the people that are supposed to benefit are left in mind-breaking poverty. Africa, the land of crooks and thiefs.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    JTaylor21; much like Wall Street?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Yeah, it’s just like Wall Street expect for the guns, machetes and 12yr old soldiers.

  • http://www.double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!


  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    @JTaylor21 You are right. I had a friend living in Nigeria working for the embassy and she traveled to many countries around. Africa is really dangerous if you don’t take things cautiously in many places. Life worths nothing there, if you are black. And if you are white they might wait and see if they can get money in ransom and then probably kill you anyway. It’s very sad I might add. As for Mutombo… the Nigerian Scam taken to another level. Sad too.

  • Brahsef

    Lol, like Wall Street. Get outta here man. We got 1st world problems, they got 3rd world problems.

  • John Bolton

    What the article states is that if Mutombo really was involved in any capacity in moving conflict gold for profit then he was willingly and knowingly part of a massive slave trade. It shows that he is willing to be part of a system that uses child soldiers and slaves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/P.Y.Y.B.L Gametimeweezy

    cosign JTaylor

  • shoecat

    In an apparent effort to conceal his true identity, Mutombo conducted all of the meetings in an Olajuwan jersey and high-top Etonics.

  • MMONTANO2012


  • Matt Park

    hahahahahahahahahaha @shoecat

  • BB-G

    Am I seeing another TV show about Gold in the making? Gold Rush Congo

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Weird stuff here

  • GTK

    wth this aint me

  • Reals

    pretty gangsta

  • http://fakehugs.com GTK

    no love for them sucka nikkas

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Where are those minerals and resources are going, JT? The upper-class Africans are benefiting from them, but the resources are overwhelmingly dominated by the West. You want to end exploitation of the indigenous majority, you start by trading with countries outside of the EU/NATO hegemony, setting up a central bank not owned by the Rothschilds, and cutting ties to the IMF and World Bank (basically glorified international shysters).
    But of course, doing that usually ends in a US or European-backed military coup…

  • LA Huey

    Teddy gotta come in here with his fancy knowledge…

  • Ronald

    Wait. Where’s the scam portion of this?

  • Allenp

    Shyster is a loaded term.

  • Wall Ball

    Speak Teddy…thats whats up!

  • Allenp

    That team force fed Duncan the ball. He got crazy shot attempts..the problem was the incessant double teaming and zone and the lack of shooters around Duncan.

  • Allenp

    Wrong post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/P.Y.Y.B.L Gametimeweezy

    Some family probably went to Mutombo because of his connections. Doubt it’s his fault the dude is a philanthropist. Scam is they setting him up..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    wonder if my gold/green herringbone in the 8th grade back in ’93 was fake?

  • http://okongo.org/please_save_my_people.html blakos

    Teddy speaking the truth.
    @John bolton. Who knows where we(the western world) are getting our coltan from (Mineral used in many electronic devices including Cell phones). A rare material that is mined in Congo at the cost of many lives. Therefore we could all be implicit indirectly in the mess that is the Congo.

  • http://okongo.org/please_save_my_people.html blakos

    Click my name for more info

  • Harlem_World

    JTayolor: “Africa, the land of crooks and thief’s” – GTFOH with that bullshick. That’s a massively sweeping generalization that glosses over the real issues on why this goes on and in doing so immunizes America and Europe from being labelled with the same tag – even though they make what is going on in SOME parts of Africa look like childs play. Put your brain in gear before your words gather motion.

  • http://moontain.org Fredd

    egoism … our problem

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Co-sign Harlem_World to the fullest. Then again, Taylor likes to snark here and generalize. No surprise there.
    Wonder how much business he’s done in Africa or w. Africans lately? I have, i am and that last sentence of his reeks of ignorance.
    Guess lack of knowledge and sweeping statements make one look cool, right?
    Regardless, not a good look for Dikembe here.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Thanks for the link, blakos.