Two Congolese men repeatedly diverted U.S. government-funded malaria drugs away from their rightful recipients in East Africa—and callously peddling them on the black market, prosecutors alleged Friday. Rene Djessa and Daniel Ohoyo, who have not been caught, face conspiracy and theft of government property charges in Manhattan Federal Court in relation to the alleged theft, according to officials. Their scheme ran from 2013 to 2015, prosecutors charged. “While hundreds of thousands of people died of malaria—many of whom could’ve been saved with the very medicines these defendants stole—Rene Djessa and Daniel Ohoyo put their greed ahead of their humanity,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “They stole life-saving anti-malarial medicines and sold them on the black market. This crime is outrageous, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that these defendants are held to account for their actions.”
If caught, tried and then convicted, each man faces up to 15 years in federal prison. Contact information for Djessa and Ohoyo, who are 41 and 32, respectively, was not immediately available.