A South African judge ruled Wednesday that the detention of Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang on charges of USD $2 billion in loan fraud was legal under the extradition treaty between the US and South Africa.
Manuel Chang, who was Mozambique’s finance minister between 2005 and 2015, was indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in December for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. While Chang was finance minister, Mozambique’s state-owned security companies borrowed about $2 billion from foreign lenders. This debt was never disclosed to the IMF until 2016.
Mozambique entered into an economic crisis as a result of the debt and subsequently three former employees of Credit Suisse bank were arrested in London for their aid in creating the loan agreements. The DOJ has requested their extradition to the US.
In the decision in favor of detention, Judge Sagra Suboyen said, “this court agrees with the state to consider that the arrest warrant is valid.”