Former Mozambican minister extradited to USA this week


The former Mozambican finance minister, Manuel Chang, will be handed over to the US Federal Detective Service (FBI) this week.

Chang was wanted in connection with alleged fraudulent loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique. He was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in December 2018 and detained at the request of American authorities who wanted him extradited to the USA.

Brig. Athlenda Mathe, police spokesperson, confirmed that the FBI is in the country and is ready so that Chang can be handed over to them.

Chang was wanted in the US and also in Mozambique for alleged conspiracy to commit fraud and for allegedly accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The alleged violations are related to a $2 billion loan scandal that also involves two international banks.

The loans were hidden from the Mozambican parliament, but the debt came to light in 2016, prompting donors including the IMF and the World Bank to withdraw financial support.

Chang – who signed off on the loans and lost an extradition battle earlier this year – is accused of using the US financial system to carry out the fraudulent scheme.

The scandal caused Mozambique’s worst economic crisis since independence from Portugal four decades earlier.

An independent audit later found $500 million had been diverted and had not yet been accounted for.

The Magistrate’s Court in Kempton Park ruled in April 2019 that Chang may be extradited to Mozambique and the USA.

Read the previous report on the matter here.