Jan 17, 2012, 11:10 AM EST
A bizarre story came out over the weekend about how former Sixer Dikembe Mutombo was one of the leaders in a deal to bring tons of gold (literally) from mines of the Congo in to the U.S. The problem with such a deal is that said gold is considered a “conflict mineral” because those that control it in those parts of Africa are basically a “mafia-like militia” of sorts and the profits from the gold line their pockets.
The Houston Chronicle outlines all of the facts uncovered from the botched deal, including United Nations’ reports on Congo militia activity that mentions the scam gone wrong. Basically, if it’s all true, Mutombo tried to convince a Houston business man, Kase Lawal, to use his own cash along with his personal jet to bring the gold to the States from Africa. Lawal apparently lost somewhere in the vicinity of $30 million due to the whole plot gone awry.
Guilty or not, it’s an ugly blemish on Mutombo as well, who had been known mostly for his tremendous humanitarian work during his long NBA career. He was once even the guest of George W. Bush at a State of the Union address in 2007. I suppose his faux career as a Senator hit a snag before it ever had a chance.
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