UN driver trafficking minerals sentenced for 3 years
AP, Thursday 25 Aug 2011
United Nations Peacekeeping mission driver in Congo was caught trafficking minerals on the border with Rwanda


A judge in eastern Congo says he has sentenced a United Nations driver to three years in prison for attempting to traffic cassiterite, a metal used to make cell phones.

Judge Christian Yuma told The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday that the UN driver Julien Mukala was also fined $25,000.

The UN has a large peacekeeping mission in Congo with numerous bases in the east, a region rich in minerals, including gold, coltan and cassiterite.

A spokesman for the UN mission, Madnodje Mounoubai, said the UN condemned the crime and agreed to lift the driver's immunity so that he could be judged.

The driver was apprehended in a truck carrying more than 2,600 pounds (1,200 kilograms) of minerals near the border with Rwanda.

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