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A hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on a request from the US authorities for the extradition there of three former Credit Suisse bankers accused of being involved in Mozambique’s hidden debts case was on Friday postponed to 11 November.
The three bankers – the former Credit Suisse chairman Andrew Pearse and the former chairman and the former vice chairwoman of Credit Suisse Global Financing Group, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva – were detained on 3 January on an international arrest warrant issued by the US authorities, on suspicion of having received a total of over $50 million in bribes and irregular commissions.
At a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday afternoon, the extradition session was postponed to 11 November. It is expected to take four to five days.
The three suspects, who were present in the courtroom, were released but their passports have been retained as they may not travel, and must present themselves to a police station.
Pearse, Singh and Subeva are suspected of having evaded and defrauded the bank’s internal control systems, omitting important information about the likelihood of corruption in these transactions and failing to follow its rules in this field.
US authorities are also seeking the extradition from South African of Manuel Chang, a former minister of finance of Mozambique. Another suspect, Jean Boustani of shipbuilder Privinvest, is already in detention in the US.
All the suspects are said to have been involved in a scheme that saw the Mozambican state guarantee $2.2 billion (€1.92 billion) in loans to public enterprises Ematum, Proindicus and MAM – funds that are said to have been diverted to enrich the suspects.
The US case has been brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), on the payment by businesses of bribes to members of foreign governments for their own purposes.
The revelations about the so-called hidden loans in 2016 led to Mozambique going into default and the suspension of aid programmes by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international lenders, undermining the country’s economy and prospects.
Mozambique has argued that the state guarantee made to Proindicus is not binding and for the “immediate cancellation” of this debt of almost $600 million.Source: Macau business
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