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USA .. seeks to extradite 3 ex-Credit Suisse Bankers for fraud in Mozambique: NPR

A bank branch of Credit Suisse in Geneva. In Mozambique, three former bankers were arrested for fraud.

Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket on Getty Images

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Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket on Getty Images

A bank branch of Credit Suisse in Geneva. Three former bankers were arrested in connection with fraud in Mozambique.

Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The scandal began with surveillance and tuna fishing and ended with the deterioration of Mozambique's creditworthiness. On Thursday, three former bankers of Credit Suisse Group AG were arrested in London. The charges of bribing officials in Mozambique may be extradited to the United States District Court for the East in the US, according to US 19459024 The Wall Street Journal

The district of New York has indicted in December that the bankers joined forces with the former Minister of Finance Mozambique and a senior executive of Privinvest Group, a Abu Dhabi-based holding company, have committed approximately $ 2 billion in loans to finance counterfeit Mozambican investors, including American companies such as Franklin Templeton Investments and Alliance Bernstein Holding LP, according to The Journal faces a loss. In addition, millions of dollars of charges were paid for bribes and kickbacks through American bank branches.

The bankers according to the indictment are Andrew Pearse from New Zealand, Surjan Singh from Great Britain and Detelina Subeva from Bulgaria.

The three ex-bankers were arrested in London and released on bail, according to the Wall Street Journal . The US is seeking its extradition. Privinvest's Jean Boustani, a negotiator living in Lebanon, was arrested on Wednesday in New York. Former Finance Minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa in late December, reports the Associated Press.

Fake Projects

According to the indictment, three companies have been set up to undertake coastal surveillance, tuna fishing and shipyard projects. The co-conspirators are accused of having finally arranged loans in the amount of $ 2 billion.

The fraud started with a coastal surveillance system. In 2011, Boustani and his company proposed a contract for Mozambique to build a coastal surveillance system. Almost immediately, prosecutors said, Boustani began negotiating with the Mozambican officials for bribes and bribes to smear the wheels and approve the project. Minister Chang created a special instrument for borrowing without notifying the International Monetary Fund, which provides assistance and funding to Mozambique.

Credit Suisse's three bankers took care of the financing while bypassing the bank's internal controls. The indictment noted that while the bank had asked questions to some of the persons involved in the transaction, "the compliance department did not pursue the investigation".

Prosecutors say the co-conspirators eventually founded three Mozambican state-owned companies to lend money and carry out the projects. Credit Suisse and a bank not mentioned in the indictment allegedly arranged the loans and sold the debt to investors worldwide, including American funds. But the projects did not make any money; Reuters reported in 2016 over rusting, idle tuna fishing boats as evidence of dysfunction.

A Debt Crisis

These enormous debt guarantees have not been discovered for more than a year. When the guarantees were discovered, foreign donors collapsed and Mozambique sank in a debt crisis, according to The Journal .

The indictment states: "The defendants created the maritime project as fronts to enrich themselves, and purposely misappropriated portions of the loan to pay themselves, Mozambican government officials, and others at least $ 200 million in bribes and bribes . "

As part of the scheme, the co-conspirators increased the prices of equipment and services, and withheld the profits or used them for bribes and bribes according to the indictment. Pearson received more than $ 45 million in illegal payments, many of which were channeled through a bank account in New York City. Singh received around $ 4.5 million in bribes and bribes, including at least one payment made through a New York account. Prosecutors say Subeva paid at least $ 2.2 million from Pearse.

Credit Suisse wants to collaborate with authorities.

"The indictment alleges that the former employees opposed the bank's internal controls, motivated by personal profit, and attempted to conceal these activities from the bank," Credit Suisse wrote in a statement.

The indictment recalls another case in which a Western bank allegedly cheated a developing country. In November 2018, the US Department of Justice filed criminal charges against two former Goldman Sachs bankers and one Malaysian investor. Ashley Westerman of NPR reports that she was accused of conspiring to use money from Malaysia's Investment Development Fund.

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