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Mozambique : Government indicts 18 people in connection with $2 billion loan scheme

07.01.2019
Read the original article: sabcnews.com
In an attempt to curb corruption, Mozambican authorities have indicted 18 citizens for their involvement in fraud involving $2 billion in loans to state-owned companies. The attorney general’s office (AGO) disclosed this on Monday, saying the scandal has also hit two major international banks.

In a statement, the office said, “Mozambique AGO is indicting 18 defendants, (ranging) from public workers and other citizens, on charges of abuse of power, abuse of trust, swindling and money laundering.”

The prosecution came just days after three ex-Credit Suisse bankers were charged in the United States with fraud over their role in Mozambique’s deal in 2013 in borrowing money from international investors to fund projects that included a state tuna fishery.

Among the prosecuted is ex-Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang, 63. The former Minister was apprehended last week in neighbouring South Africa as part of the same case. He has however pleaded not guilty to the charges levied against him.

The attorney general’s office is pleading to have those charged in the United States and elsewhere to face charges in the Southern African Nation Mozambique.

Apart from Credit Suisse, the Russian lender VTB also arranged financing for Mozambique’s state-owned companies.

According to reports, Mozambique in 2016 admitted to undisclosed lending, prompting the International Monetary Fund and foreign donors to cut off support, triggering a currency collapse and a default on the country’s sovereign debt. It is still struggling to overcome the resultant debt crisis.

Read the original article here.

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