Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mozambique's Ex-intelligence Head, Chair of Three State Firms Arrested
15 February 2019 - 15:47

Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang appears in court during an extradition hearing in Johannesburg on January 8, 2019. Five more people were arrested on Friday relating to the country's $2bn debt scandal.
Image: REUTERS/Shafiek Tassiem/File Photo

Five people, including the ex-head of Mozambique's intelligence services and the chairman of three firms linked to the country's $2bn debt scandal, have been arrested in Mozambique, a police source said on Friday.

The source said those arrested also included the ex-private secretary to former president Armando Guebuza, and that some possessions, including luxury cars, had also been seized.

"Acting on the order of the attorney-general's office ... we made the arrests of five people," the police source told Reuters by phone, without giving the reason for the arrests. "I cannot give you further details," he said.

Antonio Carlos do Rosario, former director of Mozambique's intelligence unit, was arrested alongside Teofilo Nhangumele, the chair of state-run Proindicus, Ematum and Mozambique Asset Management, the police source said.

Reuters was not able to immediately contact the representatives of the individuals named by the source as being arrested.

The three state-run companies are at the centre of a $2bn fraudulent loan scandal that has already led to arrests in Britain, SA and US.

The loans were guaranteed by the Mozambican government, but it did not disclose them, prompting the IMF and other donors to cut off support.

That triggered a currency collapse and debt crisis that Mozambique is still struggling to recover from.

Meanwhile a South African court denied former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang bail on Friday, one of his lawyers said, meaning he will for now remain in custody in connection with the same fraud case.

Chang, who denies wrongdoing, has been in custody in SA since December 29, when he was arrested on US charges related to his alleged role in the debt scandal.

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