Mutombo’s 375 kilograms of gold


The Houston Chronicle was first to cover the bizarre story of former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo’s botched gold job (after the UN published a report on it in December). Now The Atlantic also has a piece. The main players are Mutombo himself, a Houston businessman, a former West Point football player and Congolese army general and war criminal Bosco Ntaganda. Like all accounts about the ‘trading’ of minerals in Eastern Congo, it gets messy. Many other media ran away with the story, so we got to read again and again about the 4,5 ton of gold Mutombo planned on buying and reselling. The Atlantic also embedded a Powerpoint presentation which Mutombo used to convince potential ‘investors’ to get in on the deal. Strangely, the presentation talks about a “purchase quantity” of 375 kg of gold. I’m trying to figure out how those 375 kilograms turned into the 4,5 tons that are splashed all over the media.

Still, what was Mutombo thinking?

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4 thoughts on “Mutombo’s 375 kilograms of gold

  1. Actually the Houston Chronicle & others covered it extensively last year when it happened but strangely some folk only notice when the UN writes a report 8 months later……. then the tweeters get going and it reverberates in a set and predictable little circle….. sigh!

    • @digitaldjeli: We should make a list and trace the errors, including the fluctuating price (and weight) of the gold.

  2. I guess heroes are always meant to disappoint you, I have always looked up to Mutombo since I was a child as a model of hard work and dreams achieved, I’m not going to say that his participation to the very lucrative and corrupt business of mining in Congo makes me dismiss him completely, but this is a good reminder that endorsing celebrities just because of their work and tribal affiliation is never the way to go. yep, Dikembe Mutombo dropped the ball on this one.

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