Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Mozambique seeks prosecution of ex-Credit Suisse bankers implicated in debt scandal

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Mozambique’s Attorney General’s Office said on Wednesday it will seek the extradition of three former Credit Suisse CSGN.S bankers implicated in a $2 billion debt scandal that sent the country’s economy into crisis.

Andrew Pearse, Detelina Subeva and Surjan Singh, who helped arrange the loans to Mozambique, all pleaded guilty in the United States last year to charges including conspiracy to violate U.S. anti-bribery laws and to commit money laundering and securities fraud in relation to their role in the affair.

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Lawyers for the three bankers did not immediately respond to requests for comment or could not immediately be reached.

Mozambique would now seek their extradition after the country’s Supreme Court granted approval for the Attorney General’s Office to do so, a representative of the AGO told Reuters via WhatsApp.

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They said following the approval, the next steps would be to go through with the extradition request according to procedure, but did not elaborate on what that meant.

The representative also did not immediately answer further questions about whether the three bankers had been charged with any crimes in Mozambique, though a report in state-owned newspaper Noticias said the government wants the trio to come to the country to face unspecified criminal charges.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of the loans the bankers helped arrange went missing. The scandal prompted donors including the International Monetary Fund to cut off support to Mozambique, triggering a currency collapse and debt default.

The southeast African nation remains on the hook for the money. It has charged a number of people in Mozambique with crimes in relation to the scandal, and is trying to get government guarantees for some of the loans overturned in court.

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