Mozambique: Damning Evidence in Secret Debt Trial

There is damning evidence against 10 of the 19 people accused in the $2 bn secret debt trial, but no evidence against 9 lesser figures who had handled money but had no reason to know it was stolen, said Judge Efigenio Baptista in the first four days of delivering his verdict.

Total bribes paid by the Abu Dhabi based group Privinvest under Mozambique’s “hidden debts” scandal amounted to at least $55.6 mn. Baptista pointed out that this money did not really belong to Privinvest but had been stolen via the contracts signed with Mozambican state bodies. The accused, he said, had formed a criminal group “to defraud the Mozambican state”.

The largest secret debt bribe was $33 mn to Ndambi Guebuza, the oldest son of the then President, Amando Guebuza. Other significant bribes were $8.5 mn each paid to Ndambi Guebuza’s associates Teofilo Nhangumele and Bruno Langa; $3.2 mn for Antonio Carlos do Rosario, the head of economic intelligence in the security service, SISE, and chairperson of all three fraudulent companies; $1.6 mn for Renato Matusse, Guebuza’s political adviser; and €750,000 euros for Guebuza’s personal secretary, Maria Ines Moiane.

Baptista also said that the original contract was increased because of the refusal of Ndambi Guebuza to share the $50 mn bribe with Gregorio Leao and Antonio Carlos do Rosario. “With the financing contract already signed, the only way they found to obtain additional bribe money was to alter the supply contract and hence the financing contract”.

His summing up of the evidence suggests convictions and long sentences for a least some of the defendants, including Ndambi. He began is summing up Wednesday 30 November and continued with a Saturday session and will continue, with verdicts and sentences, during the coming week. I am posting daily press reports, in English, on


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