Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler has amassed a fortune buying and selling Congo’s vast mining assets. Now the International Monetary Fund is freezing a $532 million loan to the impoverished nation as it investigates those deals, said Jim Armitage in The Independent (U.K.). The 38-year-old diamond merchant is a close friend and “sometime bankroller” of Congolese President Joseph Kabila. “Time and again,” Kabila’s government has sold Gertler mining rights “for an allegedly knockdown price,” and he, in turn, has sold them to mining giants such as ENRC and Glencore for huge profits. Gertler claims his deals bring Western investment to a country that desperately needs it. But every dollar he earns brokering Congo’s mining assets “is a dollar not going to the Congolese people.”

Gertler, who supports charities in Congo and Israel, dismisses such criticism, said Michael J. Kavanagh and Jonathan Ferziger in Bloomberg Markets. “The lies are screaming to the heavens,” Gertler said. Kabila, for his part, says the government has followed the IMF’s rules and disclosed information on all its deals. And he defends Gertler. “The truth is, during our very difficult times, there were investors who came and left and others who braved the hurricane. He’s one of those.”