Mozambican Attorney General’s Office awaits response to letters rogatory

8 January 2019

The Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of Mozambique os still waiting on a reply to letters rogatory sent to the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates regarding the case of hidden debts, according to a statement released on Monday in Maputo.

Speaking for the first time about the arrest of Frelimo MP and former Finance Minister Manuel Chang in South Africa, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported that it had received a copy of the indictment on 31 December from the US Embassy in Pretoria against three Mozambican citizens, one of whom is Chang.

In the arrest warrant issued, Chang is charged with conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to violate provisions against bribery and internal control of the Law on Offences of Corruption and Conspiracy to committing money laundering offences.

According to the indictment, the accusations are related to debt contracted between 2013 and 2014 by Mozambican state-owned companies Proindicus, Ematum and MAM with banks Credit Suisse and VTB Capital, with guarantees from the Mozambican State.

The statement added it was publically known that Criminal Procedure no. 1/PGR/2015 is underway, to investigate crimes of abuse of trust, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering, deceit by fraud, among others, involving the loans taken on by the three Mozambican companies.

As is also public knowledge, following the final audit report conducted by Kroll in 2017, that the PGR issued requests for international cooperation to several countries, in particular the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The PGR statement goes on to say that letters rogatory, followed by several additions, sent to the authorities of those three countries remain unanswered, which prevents the progress of investigations, since the facts of the case in question have occurred, in part, under the jurisdiction of those countries.

The Bloomberg financial new agency, however, reported that the PGR in Mozambique is investigating 18 people in the case of hidden debts, and has involved arresting three Credit Suisse bankers and an arrest warrant against Manuel Chang, who is still in detention in South Africa. (macauhub)