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Mozambique charges ex-minister Chang and former president’s son over $2bn scandal

MOZAMBIQUE ex-Finance Minister Manuel Chang has been charged for his involvement in the country’s $2bn hidden-debts scandal that has already seen three former Credit Suisse Group AG bankers plead guilty to crimes in the US

Chang, who has been in detention in neighbouring South Africa for almost two years pending a US extradition request, is accused of crimes including corruption and abuse of office, the attorney general said in a statement on Monday. The Mozambican government had in March last year made a competing extradition request, but charges were delayed until now.

A lawyer for Chang didn’t immediately respond to a call or a text message seeking comment. Chang has previously denied wrongdoing.

Mozambique was rocked by the financial saga, which emerged in 2016 when the government reported previously undisclosed debts that led to a default on Eurobond payments. Known informally as the tuna-bond scandal, as one loan was raised to finance fishing boats, the three Credit Suisse bankers were accused of working with Chang to arrange kickbacks and other payments.

South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is yet to decide where to send Chang.

‘Processes which involve the extradition of Chang are still currently underway,’ Chrispin Phiri, his spokesman, said by text message. ‘Once those processes have been concluded the decision will be communicated.’

Mozambique also filed charges related to the case against three former central-bank workers who it didn’t name, accusing them of abuse of office.

The son of former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza has also been charged and detained in Mozambique along with 19 others, including the former head of state security. They have denied wrongdoing and are yet to be tried.

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