Some exclusive sources reported Reuters that US prosecutors have conducted an investigation regarding the role of the leading Swiss bank, Credit Suisse Group AG (Credit Suisse) in a $2 billion Mozambique corruption case. The sources told Reuters that the prosecutors suspected the Swiss bank’s link to the corruption scandal and believed that the bank was culpable of the charges since three former employees of the bank pleaded guilty last year.
Prosecutors’ Investigation on Credit Suisse
One of the sources who is claimed to be a US law enforcement official said that the prosecutors insisted the Swiss asset management bank could be convicted of a felony if the bank was involved in helping its employees’ crimes or partially received benefits from the scandal. The prosecutors believed that they have some substantial pieces of evidence to charge the bank’s culpability following the confession testimonies from those former bankers.
Prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York initiated the case against the bank after they contacted it in February. The corruption case was related to loans arranged by Credit Suisse between 2013 and 2016 to help in developing Mozambique’s coastal defenses, shipping fleet, and tuna fishing industry.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the matter when Reuters approached while a Credit Suisse spokesman said, “Credit Suisse continues to cooperate with all investigating authorities.” Meanwhile, it was not yet confirmed whether prosecutors would file charges against the bank but the sources told that filing a charge sheet against the bank could depend on the result of the employees’ testimonies.
Mozambique Corruption Case
In 2018, three former employees of Credit Suisse, along with two middlemen and three Mozambican government officials, were charged for money laundering and defrauding US investors who had invested in the loans. The prosecutors said some $200 million of the loans were illegally diverted to the eight defendants in which the former bankers had pleaded guilty last year.
According to a court transcript, Andrew Pearse, who was one of the former bankers working as a managing director, said that he had accepted the transfer of millions of dollars. One of the sources explained that the bank also earned $24 million in fees on the loans and would benefit from the loans of a $270 million which is still pending against the Mozambique government.
A second former banker, who pleaded guilty in his public hearing, admitted that the bank was aware of the prevailing false related to the loans. The law enforcement official told that the banker testified during a cross-examination that the bank failed to inform investors regarding the loans which were worth $250 million and $400 million less than its original submission.
Meanwhile, the second source said it was the responsibility of the issuer, the Mozambican government, to make such disclosure and the bank still considered that its former bankers were not experienced enough to prove the failure of the bank.
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