Lawrence Lawrence Malong Yor, The South Sudanese richest man has been the topic of discussions on social media among South Sudanese since he was mentioned in The Sentry which exposed corruption by various government officials and army generals last year.
He recently made headlines in international media again when a video of himself sleeping in a bed covered with a million US dollar went viral.
Many people have linked him to country’s former SPLA Chief of Staff Paul Malong Awan but Lawrence denied that his riches come from Paul Malong or the government.
We sought an interview with Lawrence Lual who prefers being called Young Tycoon. Lual describes himself as a businessman who owns several mining companies in South Sudan.
“I’m doing mining business all over South Sudan. I’m an associate of JP Morgan,” Lawrence told Hot in Juba in a telephone interview.
“People say I get my billions from the government but that is not true. I am an independent businessman. I am blessed by God. That’s why I am the richest South Sudanese,” he added.
The 30-year-old native of Aweil East from a village called Madol Yor which is named after his grandfather said he grew up in South Africa where he met world’s top mining investors.
“I got my connections in South Africa where I met biggest investors from the world biggest mining companies and brought them to South Sudan to invest in the mining sector,” he said.
The businessman said locally he has invested shares in MTN South Sudan and several other companies.
He said the government has contracted him to roll out fiber optic internet connection in South Sudan from Uganda.
Lual who says he doesn’t smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol told Hot in Juba that he donates millions of dollars to charity every year.
“I don’t smoke or drink like most youth in South Sudan that’s why I donated billions of dollars to charity in South Sudan and Kenya, I donated $200M to South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) TV for digital migration,” he claimed.
“I am worth $2.4 billion and no one else in South Sudan is a billionaire, I am the only one,” he stressed.
His mining investments he says include platinum mine in Raga, Lol State and diamond in Gbudue State by De Beers Group. De Beers Group according to its Wikipedia page is an international corporation that specializes in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail and diamond trading. It is owned by Anglo American and was founded, Cecil Rhodes. Its headquarters is in London, United Kingdom.
In Kapoeta State, he said he mines gold with AngloGold Ashanti Limited. AngloGold Ashanti Limited is a global gold mining company. It was formed in 2004 by the merger of AngloGold and the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation.
He also said one of his companies is doing oil exploration in Jonglei, Ruweng and Northern Upper Nile states.