Alyaksandr (Alexander) Zingman, a businessman linked to ‘Belarusian strongman’ Alyaksandr Lukashenka, was detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 17, the South African media outlet Daily Maverick reports.
Zingman, who is a citizen of Belarus and the United States, is suspected of making illegal arms deals. He is known to be involved in supplying industrial and farming machinery to African countries.
“Zingman was arrested by Congolese police in Lubumbashi on Wednesday after meeting with former president Joseph Kabila. Zingman has previously been mentioned in media reports in connection with arms deals in Zambia and Zimbabwe – which he has denied,” the article reads.
Alyaksandr Zingman has been repeatedly spotted in the company of Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa; in addition, he has been Zimbabwe’s honorary consul to Belarus since 2019.
According to Euroradio, AFTRADE director Aleh Vodchyts and Italian businessman Paolo Persico were detained together with Zingman.
“Mr. Zingman held meetings with local partners in the city of Lubumbashi. At the end of the meeting, when he arrived at the airport and was about to leave for Harare, his passport was seized. He was placed in a room with two colleagues of him for several hours – there one could not sit down, they were not provided with water, they did not have any opportunity to contact with the outside world,” representatives of AFTRADE DMCC, a dealer selling Belarusian machines in Africa, said.
A video of the detention in Lubumbashi has already appeared on the Internet: