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US justice claims that current Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane “agreed” not to disclose two loans in Mozambique’s ‘hidden debts’ case to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“After the accused Manuel Chang – the former Mozambican finance minister who signed the endorsements – left office, the conspirators told the new finance minister about the MAM and Proindicus guarantees and that the transactions were not disclosed to the IMF,” a memorandum, signed by US prosecutors July 22, but which does not specify Adriano Maleiane, reads.
The document goes on to argue that “the new minister agreed to continue not to disclose MAM and Proindicus to the IMF”. US prosecutors changed the word “conspirators” to “co-conspirators” after introducing the “new finance minister” in the arguments.
The report adds that the “co-conspirators also agreed to omit that Ematum and Proindicus were unable to meet interest payments and to hide information from Ematum’s auditors”.
The memorandum was written specifically to counter the defence of the prime suspect and defendant in the United States Government’s indictment, Lebanese businessman Jean Boustani, seen as the main actor in the corruption scheme that substantially damaged the Mozambican state.
Prosecutors indicate that “at the trial (scheduled for October 7), the Government will demonstrate that Boustani and his co-conspirators knew that Mozambique did not disclose Proindicus and MAM (…) guarantees [worth more USD$ 1.2 billion] to the IMF”.
The US prosecution says that three Mozambican state-owned companies were used to borrow money from international investors which was used for the illicit enrichment of the defendants to the cost of the Mozambican state.
Proindicus was supposedly to carry out coastal surveillance, Ematum, tuna fishing, and MAM to build maintenance yards, prosecutors say.
Adriano Maleiane has been Minister of Economy and Finance since January 2015, succeeding Manuel Chang, now a defendant in the case of hidden debts and detained in South Africa since the end of last year.
Maleiane was governor of the Central Bank of Mozambique from 1991 to 2006 and president of the National Investment Bank from 2011 to 2014.
Manuel Chang has been detained in South Africa since December, at the request of the US authorities, for alleged involvement in fraudulent USD$ 2 billion loans to state-owned companies in the case of hidden debts.Source: Folha de Maputo
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