By Jorge Joaquim
The Supreme Court in Mozambique has approved the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to try to get three former Credit Suisse bankers, considered to be the masterminds of the so-called “hidden debts” scandal, extradited from America.
The term “hidden debts” refers to the loans of over $2bn granted in 2013 and 2014 by the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia to three fraudulent, security-linked companies, Proindicus, Ematum and MAM.
All three companies are now effectively bankrupt, and so the Mozambican state becomes liable for repaying the loans. Since the loans were negotiated with the London branch of Credit Suisse, the PGR is now suing Credit Suisse through the British courts. It wants the loan guarantees given to Credit Suisse declared invalid, and reparations for the damages this affair has caused the Mozambican state.
According to a report of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the request for the extradition of Andrew Pearse, Detelina Subeva and Surjan Singh was issued to authorities in the United States on 3 June, and on 16 October the Supreme Court found that the request for extradition was justified.
The three face criminal proceedings in Mozambique. Notícias also reports that the office has issued an international arrest warrant for the three and for Jean Boustani, the shipbuilding executive also implicated in the hidden debts, via Interpol. At the same time, it asked authorities in the United Kingdom, where the three ex-bankers are resident, for legal and investigative support.
Bostani was tried last year in the New York court, and was acquitted merely because his lawyers argued that the crimes did not take place in the United States, and so were beyond the jurisdiction of the Brooklyn court.