Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Congo’s pricey passport scheme sends millions of dollars offshore

SMILE FOR THE CAMERA: President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the launch of the country's new biometric passport in Kinshasa in November 2015. Kabila remains in office despite protests that new presidential elections are overdue. RTNC/Handout via Reuters TV---EXPENSIVE: An immigration official displays a Democratic Republic of Congo biometric passport. They cost about a third of the average citizen’s annual per capita income. REUTERS/Stringer
TRAVELLER: The passport photograph of Makie Makolo Wangoi, reported to be a relative of President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The impoverished Democratic Republic of Congo has introduced biometric passports costing $185 apiece. But most of that money does not go to the state. Instead millions of dollars go to a private company in the Gulf - and sources say it is owned by a relative of President Joseph Kabila.

By David Lewis-Filed 
KINSHASA - One day in November 2015, President Joseph Kabila visited his foreign ministry and smiled broadly as a computer took his photograph and fingerprints. He was there to mark the launch of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new biometric passport, fitted with a chip to store details of his identity.