Home » Former Mozambique finance minister extradited to US over $2B fraud scandal

Former Mozambique finance minister extradited to US over $2B fraud scandal

by Derek Andrews
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South African authorities extradited Mozambique’s former Finance Minister Manuel Chang to the US on Wednesday to face corruption expenses. Chang faces faces US criminal charges for his function in a $2 billion fraud and cash laundering scheme that just about crashed Mozambique’s economic system and victimized people within the US.

Chang along with 19 others—inclusive of state safety officers and a former president’s son—face expenses of wire and securities fraud in addition to cash laundering expenses. That is as a result of disappearance of billions of {dollars} in Mozambican government-backed loans. Though he denies wrongdoing, proof reveals that Chang signed off on these loans throughout his 2005-2015 time period as finance minister.

Chang has been held in South Africa since 2018 and in Might 2019 the Magistrates Courtroom ruled that he was extraditable to the Republic of Mozambique and the US underneath the Extradition Act No.62 of 1962. As a result of each the US and Mozambique requested his extradition, diplomatic and court docket battles broke out over the choice. In the end, South Africa’s courts denied Mozambique go away to enchantment a ultimate choice concerning their extradition of Chang in Might. With that, the choice to extradite Chang to the US was finalized.

The South African Ministry of Justice and Correctional Providers confirmed that they efficiently surrendered Chang to the US on Wednesday. Chang was scheduled to be arraigned in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday.

The US expenses are tied to loans obtained from Credit score Suisse and Russia’s VTB Financial institution in a multinational fraud scheme. Below the scheme, bond choices and loans value almost $2 billion had been bought as funding to develop Mozambique’s tuna fishing trade. Nevertheless, investigators say greater than $200 million of the cash was diverted to pay bribes and kickbacks to overseas officers and former bankers. Moreover, the Russian VTB financial institution has since maintained a press release that it had no information in any way within the corrupt scheme.

In federal court docket filings Thursday, US prosecutors requested that the court docket detain Chang as a “flight danger.” Prosecutors cited the gravity of the costs Chang faces and the alleged $5 million he gained from the fraud scheme as the explanation why he must be detained forward of trial.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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