Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua rose to power in the Republic of Congo through his family’s close association with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, first serving as the president’s hydrocarbons adviser, then becoming head of the national oil company (SNPC) in 1998. Itoua was implicated in a massive diversion of company funds that came to light in 2003. A lawsuit two years later by one of Congo’s creditors accused Itoua and the SNPC of conspiring to "divert oil revenues ... into the pockets of powerful Congolese public officials.” After a U.S. federal appeals court ruled in 2007 that American courts did not have jurisdiction over the suit against the SNPC because it was a government agency, the creditor did not pursue its case against Itoua.
In the data
Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua had power of attorney to represent two offshore companies in 2004, while he was energy adviser to the President of the Republic of Congo and CEO of SNPC, the Congolese national oil company. The companies, Denvest Capital Strategies Inc., based in the British Virgin Islands, and Grafin Associated SA, based in Panama, had previously issued unregistered shares which belong to the person who physically holds them. The companies became inactive in 2006 and 2007 respectively, according to Mossack Fonseca's records.
Itoua declined to respond to a request for comment from ICIJ and Le Monde.
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