Mozambique: Policeman and prison guard arrested over alleged kidnap attempt - AIM report
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The liquidation committee for the Mozambique state enterprises Proindicus, Empresa Moçambicana de Atum (Ematum) and Mozambique Asset Management (MAM), the three companies that were used to contract the ‘hidden debts’ that pushed the country into a formal default, on Tuesday issued a call for creditors to provide proof of their rights.
The committee posted the “call for creditors” in the daily newspaper Notícias, which has Mozambique’s largest circulation and where it is thus mandatory to publish such legal citations.
In the notice, putative creditors are asked “to present supporting documents to substantiate their claims, in sealed envelopes, within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice.
The call for creditors of the three companies, which are in liquidation, comes after the country’s courts ordered that they be dissolved due to bankruptcy and that a committee be set up to oversee this process.
Mozambique’s Office of Public Prosecutions (PGR) has said that it believes that Proindicus, Ematum and MAM – companies with activities in fishing and maritime security – were used to mobilise fraudulent loans that funded a huge corruption scheme from which senior state officials and figures close to the former president, Armando Guebuza, were to benefit.
The affair has given rise to several criminal and civil cases in Mozambique, the US and the UK.
Sentencing in the main hidden debts case, which was tried in Maputo, is scheduled for 1 August.
In its closing arguments, the prosecution asked the court to impose the maximum possible penalty on eight of the 19 defendants nad close to the maximum penalty for 10 of them, and to acquit just one defendant.
The public prosecution also asked the court that the defendants be ordered to pay compensation of $2.7 billion (€2.3 billion), corresponding to the total value of the hidden debts, plus interest of $850.5 billion, calculated until 2019.
The loans, which were taken out in 2012 and 2013, were secretly guaranteed by the state, under the Frelimo government led by Guebuza, without the knowledge of Mozambique’s parliament, the Administrative Court or existing creditors.
After the scandal broke in 2016, the International Monetary Fund suspended its financing to Mozambique, which was forced into a formal default.