Ex-Credit Suisse bankers arrested over ‘$2bn fraud scheme’

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MAPUTO, Mozambique

US authorities arrested three former Credit Suisse bankers Thursday over their alleged role in a $2bn (£1.5bn) fraud scheme connected to firms in Mozambique.

Local media reported that the suspects had been released on bail in London while the US seeks out their extradition.

The scheme allegedly involved loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique.

US authorities further arrested two others, including the country’s former finance minister.

The men – Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, and Detelina Subeva – were charged in an indictment issued by a US District Court in New York.

The indictment says that through a series of financial transactions between approximately 2013 and 2016, more than $2bn was borrowed through loans guaranteed by the Mozambican government.

It said over the course of the transactions, the co-conspirators acted to defraud investors.

It read: “They created maritime projects as fronts to raise money to enrich themselves, and intentionally diverted portions of the loan proceeds to pay at least $200m in bribes and kickbacks to themselves, Mozambican government officials and others,”

In a statement, Credit Suisse said the three former employees had been accused by US authorities of “circumventing our internal controls” in a fraud connected to the Mozambican government.

It stressed: “No action has been taken against Credit Suisse. The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank,”