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Mozambique Court Hears Africa’s Biggest Corruption Scandal Case

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A court in the Mozambique capital Maputo is hearing a case that has been described as the biggest scandal on the African continent.

Details indicate that It is one of the biggest corruption scandals on the continent, and it involves some of the most senior figures in the state.

Five years after the biggest corruption scandal in the country was revealed in 2016, the trial has opened in Maputo.

Since 23 August, the 19 Mozambican defendants, including the son of the former president, Armando Ndambi Guebuza, have been appearing before Judge Efigenio Baptista.

The latter is presiding over the hearings which are to be held until December 2 in front of a prison in the capital.

Cited by several defendants as a key figure in the case, the current president and defense minister, Filipe Nyusi, will not be heard and continues to deny any involvement.

At the origin of the scandal which plunged the country into an unprecedented financial crisis: the secret and illegal subscription by three Mozambican companies of a loan of more than U$ 2 billion – U$2.7billion according to the Maputo court – guaranteed by the Mozambican State.

The sums, paid between 2012 and 2013, were to be used to finance a vast project of shipbuilding, fishing and maritime surveillance headed by the French construction company CMN (Mechanical constructions of Normandy) owned by the Lebanese group Privinvest Holdings.

As early as 2015, the house of cards collapsed as the revelations followed one another. Parliament, supposed to guarantee the loan, was never consulted.

The project, which was to be development-oriented, is in fact mostly military. Companies have never been fully operational. More than U$ 713 million in extra billing has been identified …

A complex montage, intended to fuel a sprawling system of corruption in which some of the high-ranking figures in power circles are involved.

In addition to three Swiss bankers and a Lebanese intermediary, some fifteen very senior Mozambican officials are suspected of having shared more than 200 million bribes …

The country’s already battered economy is collapsing. The direct and indirect consequences of this fraud have already cost U$ 11 billion, or U$ 400 per capita – the equivalent of 70% of GDP in 2019 – according to Chr. Michelsen Institute, a Norwegian organization, which estimates that more than 2 million Mozambicans have been thrown into poverty.

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Crime

Terrorists Bomb Bar In Kampala Killing 2, Several Injured

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Residents in Uganda’s Capital Kampala are in total panic following a deadly IED bomb denoted on Saturday night at a popular pork bar pub killing 2 and injuring several others.

According to an eyewitness account, a man believed to be a terrorist walked towards the bar counter at a fully packed pub (Digida Pork Joint) a Komamboga a residential suburb in Uganda’s Capital Kampala on saturday night and requested to be served two buckets of iced beer.

He later walked to a table and briefly sat there and was joined by two other colleagues, the iced beer buckets were brought to their table. These men later walked out of the bar for a chat outside.

One of the men who had earlier requested to be served beer returned but this time carrying a polythene bag containing a beer bottle and placed it under the table and walked outside again.

“When i came to bill these clients, i didn’t find them on the table and asked others sitting nearby, they told me the men were outside. The buckets still contained some unconsumed beers, i returned to the counter,” a waitress was quoted by local media in Kampala.

“After a few minutes, these men returned to the table and I also brought the bill and handed it to the man who had earlier placed the order. He rolled it and threw it at me telling me he will pay. No problem,” the frightened waitress said, adding that she walked back to the counter.

“It was the second time this man had come to this bar. I recognised him and trusted he would pay his bill. However, these men later walked outside again and few minutes later we heard a big explosion,” she said.

The waitress recognised one client dead. The explosion had ripped the victim exposing the intestines, one other male client died on the way to hospital according to this waitress who narrated her eyewitness account to the local media.

Several other people were badly injured and have since been rushed to various hospitals in the capital Kampala.

“It seems to be a terrorist act,” President Yoweri Museveni Tweeted on Sunday.

“The information I have is that 3 people came and left a package in kaveera (plastic bag) which later on exploded,” Museveni said.

Specifically, the bomb blast occurred at Digida Pork Joint, a restaurant, local media reported. Videos shared on social media showed panicked and confused revellers.

Meanwhile, this blast comes days after the British and French embassies had issued a security alert to their citizens saying the country faces a terror attack.

Police on Monday called for calm, saying for now security agencies would not heighten the threat level although the concerns raised by the embassies are taken seriously.

Uganda has its troops deployed in far away Somalia where they are pursuing Somalia’s al Shabaab islamist militants.

In 2010, Kampala suffered a major attack by Somalia’s al Shabaab that killed dozens. The group said it had attacked Uganda as a punishment for its deployment of troops in Somalia.

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Mozambique Gets U$475 million In Settlement Deal With Credit Suisse

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Mozambique is scheduled to bag a whooping U$475 million as part of legal settlement of a long running dispute with Credit Suisse Group AG.

On Tuesday, Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay almost U$475 million to resolve multiple investigations into its role in a fundraising scandal that saw hundreds of millions looted from Mozambique and tipped the country into economic crisis.

The Zurich-based bank said it expects to take a $230 million charge in the third quarter as a result of the settlement, a further hit for shareholders after the bank was buffetted by the Greensill and Archegos Capital Management scandals.

The legal agreement is the latest action in a multi-year, international saga resulting from U$2 billion of debt deals that were supposed to help fund a new coastal patrol force and tuna fishing fleet in Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries. Three Credit Suisse bankers have previously pleaded guilty in the matter.

Credit Suisse Securities Europe Ltd., a unit of the bank, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud at a hearing in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.

The parent company also entered into a three-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.

The bank deceived investors by hiding information about the use of the proceeds of three debt offerings from 2013 to 2016, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Credit Suisse bankers received U$50 million in kickbacks that were hidden from other members of management, part of at least U$200 million in “improper payments” and bribes, the U.S. said.

The settlement highlights include:

U$247.5 million criminal fine paid to the U.S. Justice Department, which will be reduced to U$175.5 million after crediting payments to other authorities

U$100 million paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. GBP147.2 million (U$200.6 million) paid to the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority

Forgiveness of U$200 million in debt owed by Mozambique as a result of the loans

Appointing an independent third-party to review compliance measures for businesses in financially weak, high-risk countries, per enforcement action by Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority

Bankers “were able to carry out the scheme as a result of deficiencies in Credit Suisse’s internal accounting controls, unreasonable reliance on the CS Bankers to structure the deal, and inadequate appreciation of bribery risks that came to the attention of the bank’s reputational risk, credit risk and compliance groups,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.

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Crime

Ugandan Intelligence Abducts Two Rwandan Students

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Taarifa has learnt that two Rwandan nationals, Aimable Ndayishimye and Mary Kabahizi, students of Bugema University, were abducted by Uganda’s Military Intelligence operatives (CMI) in Mbarara while on their way to Rwanda.

We are reliably informed by sources that they are currently held at Makenke military barracks in Mbarara.

The students have valid travel documents.

Ironically, Taarifa’s sources say while the intelligence outfit held the two innocent students, it was busy making interventions to release six RUD URUNANA recruiting agents who had been arrested by Police in Kakumiro, a town in Western Uganda.

The agents were reportedly released yesterday on orders of CMI.

Rud Urunana is a militia blamed for the October 2019 Kinigi attack which claimed the lives of 14 civilians. The outfit operates from Eastern DR Congo, supported and financed by Museveni’s government, according to UN reports.

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