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April 30, 2019updated 13 May 2019 10:23am

Credit Suisse faces criminal complaint over Mozambique loan scandal

Public Eye, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) headquartered in Switzerland, has lodged a criminal complaint against Swiss banking group Credit Suisse over undeclared loans to Mozambique.

Credit Suisse’s UK subsidiary was involved in the case.

However, the NGO wants the Swiss Attorney General to probe whether the Swiss banking group carried out its responsibility of effectively supervising its subsidiary in the matter.

In a statement, Public Eye said: “Nevertheless, the publicly available documents pertaining to the case provide sufficient information to clarify the responsibility of the Swiss parent company.

“With its criminal complaint, Public Eye is calling on the Office of the Attorney General to investigate whether Credit Suisse Group AG fulfilled its corporate responsibility to oversee its subsidiary and prevent unlawful conduct as required of companies by the Swiss criminal code.”

The latest move comes shortly after the government of Mozambique filed a case in London high court against Credit Suisse over the case that is referred to as the “tuna bond” scandal.

Loans worth more than $1bn were granted by Credit Suisse’s UK unit to a pair of state-owned firms in Mozambique.

The loans granted in 2013 and 2014 were marketed as investments in projects such as tuna-fishing boats.

However, a portion of the funds were allegedly used for military equipment.

According to press revelations in 2016, Mozambique raised its public debt by taking these loans.

The loans resulted in a debt crisis in the country.

This triggered a financial meltdown in Mozambique, with donor countries such as Switzerland and the International Monetary Fund halting support soon after the revelation of the undisclosed loans.

Three Credit Suisse bankers were charged in the case.

The bankers were accused of bribing Mozambican officials and making false statements to the compliance department.

Moreover, ex-Mozambique finance minister was arrested in the case.

The Swiss bank has refuted any misconduct in the case.

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