We told UK: Thanks for Idai help – now help us get back the $2.2bn

FMO Press Statement

DfiD mobilized £18 million to support Mozambicans after Idai, a much needed response. It would help even more to support Mozambicans to recover the $2,2 Billion illegally lent by London regulated banks, campaigners from the Mozambique Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO) told UK Regulators and Law makers last week in London. FMO asked why have UK authorities fail to comply with their own laws and standards in responding to brazen fraud and corruption by various parties involved in the Mozambican debt scandal. FMO urged the UK authorities to launch a full scale investigation on the regulatory failures in the Mozambican case and provide their assessment in the unlawful conduct of the London regulated banks Credit Suisse and VTB. FMO is disappointed by slow responses and action by UK authorities in holding those responsible accountable for the illegal debt scandal. 

FMO requests UK Lawmakers and regulators to join FMO’s international efforts towards cancelation of the illegal debt and provide moral and political support to millions of Mozambicans who are already paying the price of governance failures both in Maputo and London.Mozambican people have always considered the UK as a solid and committed development partner, however the recent conduct in response to the illegal debt crisis has left Mozambican citizens confused about the shared goals and vision. The Forum hopes to continue working together with UK entities to solve the debt scandal. 

The US District Court of New York and the Mozambican attorney general have charged individuals, but no action has been taken against Credit Suisse and VTB as corporate entities. These were London banks grossly violating UK banking regulations, yet UK regulators appear to have done nothing to hold these banks to account. 

The US District Court of New York in December 2018 issued charges against the former Minister of Finance of Mozambique, Manuel Chang and three former Credit Suisse Bankers – Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva, and others. The Mozambican General Attorney issued an indictment against Mozambican Government officials and individuals. Both of these outline the extent of corruption, fraud and concerted criminal actions by UK banks, their agents, contractors and some Mozambican officials. 

Deteline Subeva pleaded guilty in the US to conspiracy to launder funds in connection with the $2.2bn scam. But the other two former Credit Suisse bankers continue to fight against their extradition to the US. No action has been taken against any bankers from VTB. UK regulators have done nothing to hold these individuals to account.

The UK’s Bribery Act requires companies to have systems in place to prevent corruption. FMO believes that there is strong evidence that such systems were lacking on the part of the UK regulated banks. It has  been difficult for FMO to explain to Mozambicans how the UK authorities hold Mozambicans responsible for the $2.2 bn secret debt but continue to fail to sanction responsible banks for their role in the $2,2bn scandal. One thousand Mozambican citizens have written to the UK government calling for a full investigation of the role of the UK banks in the scandal, and they have been joined by another thousand UK signatories mobilized by UK-based Jubilee Debt Campaign.

The people of Mozambique have long established relationships with the UK government, receiving substantial development assistance. The support has over the years contributed to the development of Mozambicans and saved thousands of lives. Our people are shocked that the UK government is not at the forefront of actions against London-based banks that have defrauded Mozambique of money so generously given as part of UK aid.

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