U.N. report: Last month, the United Nations released a report detailing how Houston oil tycoon Kase Lawal, who sits on one of President Barack Obama’s trade committees, and Mutombo, formerly of the Houston Rockets, tapped Houston diamond merchant Edward “Carlos” St. Mary to take a team to the Congo to retrieve the gold. The plane was detained for weeks until it was released by Congolese authorities.
An account of the botched transaction is part of a wider U.N. investigation of illegal minerals smuggling from vast mines controlled by warlords accused of committing mass rape and other humanitarian atrocities. Lawal, through lawyers, told U.N. investigators that he did nothing wrong. Mutombo did not respond to multiple messages from The Dallas Morning News. St. Mary has been cooperating with authorities, though no charges have been filed against anyone.
Southlake connection: The Gulfstream V jet that was detained in Africa belongs to a subsidiary of Southlake businessman David Disiere. Disiere’s company leased the multimillion-dollar jet to a Lawal subsidiary. Disiere’s spokesman has said that he had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the Congo trip. The U.N. report does not dispute that.
Court date in Dallas: Disiere’s company alleges in a Dallas lawsuit that Lawal’s group violated the lease agreement by using the $40 million aircraft for the ill-fated trip. A hearing in the case is set for Tuesday before state District Judge Dale Tillery in downtown Dallas.