Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: REUTERS/SHAFIEK TASSIEM
Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: REUTERS/SHAFIEK TASSIEM

Maputo — Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang has been charged for his involvement in the African nation’s $2bn hidden debts scandal that has already seen three former Credit Suisse bankers pleading guilty to crimes in the US, according to Mozambique’s attorney-general on Monday.

Chang, who has been in detention in SA since December 2018 on US charges and an extradition request, is accused of crimes including corruption and abuse of office, the attorney-general said in a statement.

A lawyer for Chang did not immediately respond to a call or a text message seeking comment. Chang has previously denied wrongdoing.

In February, Mozambique withdrew appeals to have    Chang,  sent home from SA. Both the US and Mozambique had issued their own extradition requests over the allegations, reports said.

Charges against Chang relate to loans taken by Maputo when he was head of Treasury there between 2005 and 2015. The money was allegedly used to secretly buy a tuna-fishing fleet and surveillance ships. An independent audit found that a quarter of the loan amount was illicitly diverted, the report said.

The US alleges at least $200m of the loans were spent on bribes and kickbacks, including $12m that went to Chang, who allegedly signed off on debt guarantees.

Mozambique has arrested several suspects linked to the debt scandal, including the son of former-president Armando Guebuza, as well as intelligence officials.

Bloomberg 

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