Mozambique: Five arrested in connection with the case of  “hidden debts”

Mozambique: Five arrested in connection with the case of “hidden debts”

By Arnaldo Cuamba

Map and flag of Mozambique

Five Mozambicans, including two senior intelligence officers, were arrested in mozambican capital Maputo for their alleged part in the case of the illegal loans totalling over two billion US dollars, a source from the Attorney-General’s Office confirmed to Pan African Visions on Friday.

Between 2013 and 2014, the Mozambican Government obtained loans of over two billion dollars without parliamentary approval to set up three state-owned companies: Proindicus, Mozambique Tuna Company (Ematum) and Mozambique Asset Management (MAM). The loans were arranged by Credit Suisse and a Russian investment bank.

The discovery of these secret loans in 2016 led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international donors to halt financial support to Mozambique resulting in the collapse of its economy.

The justification for setting up the companies was to provide a sophisticated system of coastal protection and a tuna fishing fleet. However, there is absolutely no sign of the promised coastal protection and the Ematum fishing fleet is 24 rather small boats that have no fishing licence and sit at anchor in the Maputo fishing port.

The loans were only possible because they were guaranteed by the Mozambican government and as not one of the companies is operational the government has become liable for the whole two billion dollars.

Antonio Carlos do Rosário, the secret services (SISE) officer who set up ProIndicus, EMATUM, and MAM, was one of five people arrested yesterday in connection with the deals.

The others include the former head of SISE, Gregorio Leão; Armando Guebuza’s private secretary, Inês Moiane; Teófilo Nhangumele, thought to have acted as a local fixer for Privinvest; and Bruno Tandane, a SISE operative and right hand man of Guebuza’s son Ndambi.

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