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US accountant Wendy Spaulding has analysed illegal bank transfers of hundreds of millions of US dollars to Mozambican companies, defendants and conspirators, Lusa reports
Spaulding was paid by the US Federal Government to conduct an independent study of dozens of documents – from e-mails, bank account records, Swift transactions and records of Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) and JP Morgan.
The documents analysed were presented as evidence by prosecutors. All transactions went through the United States and involved about 10 banking institutions and multiple accounts, allegedly with the intention to mislead.
According to Spaulding, hundreds of millions of US dollars passed between Mozambican Tuna Company (Ematum), Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) and Proindicus, Credit Suisse, Privinvest, Abu Dhabi MAR subsidiary, Palomar, Andrew Pearse, Jean Boustani, Surjan Singh and António do Rosário.
The latter reportedly “ran Ematum, Proindicus and MAM, and worked for Mozambique’s State Information and Security Service (SISE)”.
Palomar was founded by Andrew Pearse (former Credit Suisse banker), Iskandar Safa (Privinvest owner) and his brother Akram Safa. It provided financial and advisory services to the Mozambican Ministry of Finance, and received US$3.8 million (about €3.4 million euros), according to Pearse.
The ultimate beneficiary of the transactions was often Privinvest, which was responsible for providing vessels and coastal surveillance materials in Mozambique under contracts with Ematum, MAM and Proindicus.
Privinvest was the employer of Jean Boustani, the main defendant in the US trial. He is accused of currency fraud, securities investment fraud and bribery.
Transfers to and from Privinvest totaled US$1.047 billion, according to US justice sources. The accountant added that more than US$103 million was passed on to Privinvest with “payment details” mentioning Proindicus.
The banks processing the transactions include Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), JP Morgan, VTB Capital, Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse International, First Gulf Bank (FGB), Bank of America and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to the evidence presented in court.
Between May and June 2014, MAM sent a total of nearly US$500 million to Privinvest. The amounts were sent from VTB Capital to Deutsche Bank of New York, the accountant explained.
Spaulding’s analysis shows that António do Rosário, former national Director of Economic Intelligence at the State Information and Security Services (SISE), received US$1.175 million for an account called Walid Construções Lda.
Mozambique’s hidden debts case refers to an alleged corruption scheme in which three Mozambican state-owned companies – Ematum, Proindicus and MAM – contracted US$2 billion in loans without disclosing them to the Mozambican government, international investors or financial entities such as the International Monetary Fund.