Eighteen citizens including Mozambique’s former finance minister, Manuel Chang, 63, have been indicted in Mozambique for a fraud involving $2 billion in loans to state-owned companies.
In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office said Monday that the 18 citizens of “abuse of power, abuse of trust, swindling and money laundering”.
Two international banks are ensnared in the scandal.
Three ex-Credit Suisse bankers have been charged in the United States with fraud for their role in the 2013 deal in Mozambique which involved borrowing from international investors to fund a state tuna fishery project, among others.
Chang was arrested last week in South Africa and brought back to Mozambique to face the charges. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Mozambique says it will demand that those charged in the United States also face charges in Mozambique.
Russian lender VTB is the other financial institution which arranged funding under the fraud deal.
Mozambique has been badly hurt by the scandal which forced the International Monetary Fund and other foreign donors to turn off financial taps. The move led to currency collapse and to Mozambique defaulting on its sovereign debt.
The IMF says it does not expect Mozambique to honor payments for at least five more years.
By late February 2018, the Washington-based global financial institution estimated that Mozambique had already amassed more than $700 million in arrears on the $2 billion debt.
The IMF projects that arrears will continue to accumulate until 2023 when Mozambique is expected to start producing gas from large offshore deposits.