Mozambique ex-minister in S.Africa court over loan scandal
Published: 03:41 PM, 9 January 2019 Updated: 03:41 PM, 9 January 2019
Daily Bangladesh Desk
Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang made a brief court appearance in Johannesburg on Tuesday after being arrested at the city’s airport over alleged secret loans to Mozambican state companies totaling $2 billion.
Chang sat in the dock as his lawyers argued that his detention on a US extradition request was illegal.
Since his arrest on December 29, three former employees of Credit Suisse bank have also been arrested in London.
Chang, who was finance minister between 2005 and 2015, is accused by US authorities of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Between 2013 and 2014, Mozambique state-owned security companies borrowed about $2 billion (1.75 billion euros), but the government only disclosed most of the debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016.
The hidden debt plunged Mozambique into its worst financial crisis since independence in 1975.
“Detention of Mr. Chang is illegal because his arrest was effectively on terms of an ineffective warrant,” Willie Vermeulen, Chang’s lawyer, told the court.
Public prosecutor Elivera Dreyer applied for the case to be postponed. Judge Sagra Subroyen agreed, saying she would hand down a ruling on Wednesday.
US prosecutors allege that Chang received $12 million to agree to sign the loan agreements. About $200 million was spent on bribes and kickbacks, according to the US indictment.
Chang, dressed in a dark jacket, dark shirt and jeans, did not speak during Tuesday’s hearing.
Mozambique’s attorney general said Monday there were 18 defendants in their own investigations into the case, but no convictions have been made since the scandal was unearthed in 2015.
In addition to Chang, two other unnamed Mozambican citizens are accused by US prosecutors of being involved in fraud related to the $2 billion debt.
Lebanese businessman Jean Boustani, accused of helping coordinate the alleged fraud, was arrested at a New York airport on January 2.
- Coal power stations disrupt rainfall: Global study
- Psychologists solve mystery of songbird learning
- Mansur pays homage to Bangabandhu
- 6 new ships to join BSC fleet
- Rare yellow cardinal caught on camera
- World Meteorological Day tomorrow
- Abrar’s parents meet PM
- Death toll rises to 7 in Barishal road crash’
- 24h Anti-drug drives detained 48 in Dhaka
- 6 hijackers detained in Tongi
- 1650 dev projects progress laudable in FY18
- Death toll rise 47 in China chemical plant blast
- Lightning strikes killed 1 in Habiganj
- Edu Minister criticized teachers for ‘Coaching’
- NZ PM received death threats
- Argentina to train up Bangladeshi footballers
- ‘Shark plane’ in Bangladesh
- Orchita Sporshia in Makkah to perform Umrah
- Will take charge of Ducsu: VP Noor
- Mustafiz gets hitched
- Balaka bus hit Menon’s car
- Emilia Clarke reveals she suffered two near-fatal brain aneurysms
- Woman`s throat-slit body found in Bagerhat
- 2 powerful cyclones bear down on North Australian coast
- Commercial banana farming gains ground in Rajshahi
- Surma-Dhanu rivers in hand of influential occupiers
- Unidentifind woman killed in Narsingdi road crash
- Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan
- Journo Anwarul Haq passes away
- Five drug traders among 19 held in Dinajpur
- All News »
- Ex-JaPa leader Mohsen Rashid joins Gono Forum
- Maize production likely bumper in Rangpur
- Registration of Shuprovat Paribahan bus cancelled
- Hidden meaning of writing on the rifle..
- Man held with shotgun at Dhaka airport
- Nationwide prog on Bangabandhu’s birth centenary
- Man’s mobile phone protects him from ‘arrow attack’
- Students again on road with ‘We want Justice’
- Local AL leader shot dead in Rangamati
- Indonesia floods, mudslides: death toll rises to 89
- 7 incl presiding officer shot dead in Rangamati
- Six dead, 30 injured in China chemical plant blast
- ‘Send cricket team to ensure security in future’
- Attack suspect Brenton Tarrant appears in court
- BUP student killed in Narda road crash, sparks protest
- AL leader stabbed dead in Sunamganj
- First Bangladeshi girl in UN`s Education Conference
- Monali’s Dhaka concert postponed
- NZ PM vows never to say gunman`s name
- Protest continues demanding justice for Abrar
- National SME fair begins
- Drug trader killed in Meherpur gunfight
- 100th birthday of Bangabandhu celebrated
- Student killed in Sirajganj road crash, road blockade
- NZ mosque attack leaves 27 dead, Tigers scattered
- Tigers left New Zealand
- Rain with gusty wind likely
- 12th death anniversary of Rana today
- 50 killed as flash floods strike Indonesia’s Papua
- All 50 victims of Christchurch attack identified: police