Mozambique Opens Trial on ‘Tuna Bond’ Scandal

Mozambique on Monday has opened the trial of 19 suspects, including Mozambique’s ex-president’s son, for the over $2 billion (£1.5 billion) “hidden debt” or “tuna bond” scandal.

The court has charged Ndambi Guebuza, son of former President Armando Guebuza, and 18 others with blackmail, embezzlement, and money laundering. They have not yet commented on the charges.

The scandal involved over $2 billion of bank loans and bond issues from Swiss bank Credit Suisse and Russian bank VTB which were taken out in secret by Mozambican state-owned companies without the legally required approval of the Mozambique Parliament and backed with hidden government guarantees. 

The trial is being held in a large canvas tent on the grounds of a maximum-security prison in the outskirts of the capital, Maputo. 

Scores of lawyers, 70 witnesses, and 250 media workers, who have been accredited, have attended the trial.

Mozambique’s biggest corruption scandal led donors including the IMF to cut funding for the country and the economy to collapse.

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