UK Judge Allows Mozambique’s Lawsuit Against Credit Suisse Over “Tuna Bond” Scandal to Proceed

Mouad Boudina
Mouad Boudina
3 Min Read

The lawsuit launched by Mozambique against Credit Suisse (UBSG.S) and additional parties regarding the notorious $2 billion “tuna bonds” scandal has been authorized to proceed to trial, as determined by a judge in London on Monday. This ruling stands, even in light of concerns raised about the African nation’s incomplete disclosure of relevant documents.

In a considered decision, High Court Judge Robin Knowles has deemed it unjust, disproportionate, and unnecessary to dismiss the intricate case, consisting of 11 sets of proceedings, merely three months ahead of the scheduled London trial set to commence on October 2nd.

Originating in 2013, the case revolves around three agreements forged between Mozambican state-owned entities and shipbuilder Privinvest. These agreements were financed, in part, through loans and bonds provided by Credit Suisse, with undisclosed guarantees from the Mozambican government. Ostensibly, the purpose of these financial arrangements was to facilitate the advancement of the fishing industry and bolster maritime security.

However, a significant amount of funds, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, went astray. The revelation of the state loan guarantees to the public in 2016 resulted in the suspension of support from donors like the International Monetary Fund. This, in turn, triggered a detrimental sequence of events, including a currency collapse and a severe debt crisis.

In March, the judge initially broached the possibility of a strike-out and issued an order requiring Mozambique to guarantee access to pertinent documents held in crucial state institutions, including the Office of the President and SISE, the state security service. This directive aimed to ensure the availability of essential evidence for the proceedings.

The legal representatives of Mozambique have contended that certain documents cannot be disclosed due to challenges arising from state secrecy. Nonetheless, they have implored the judge to permit the case to move forward, emphasizing that it revolves around allegations of extensive international fraud and corruption involving public officials. The gravity of the matter underscores the significance of allowing the legal proceedings to proceed unhindered.

Mouad Boudina

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