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Chang to Be Extradited to US for Role in Credit Suisse Fraud in July

Chang to Be Extradited to US for Role in Credit Suisse Fraud in July

Credit Suisse paid $475 million for its role in alleged fraud.

Chang has been detained in South Africa since his Dec. 29, 2018, arrest at the request of US authorities. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, allege that corrupt Mozambique officials conspired with Credit Suisse bankers to take the country deeper into debt for dubious maritime projects such as a fleet of ships to combat piracy.

In 2021 Credit Suisse paid almost $475 million to resolve multiple investigations of its role in the scandal, one of several major legal and financial setbacks the Swiss bank faced in the years leading up to its collapse in March. A Credit Suisse unit and three former bankers also pleaded guilty to charges in the same case brought against Chang.

Assistant US Attorney Hiral Mehta said at a Monday hearing in Brooklyn federal court that, during Chang’s four years of detention, the US and Mozambique competed over who would get to prosecute him. South Africa’s top court in May dismissed an appeal by Mozambique seeking to prosecute him there.

“He wants to get in on a plane and he will likely be here in July, mid-July to late July,” Mehta told US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis. “It will take time, but he will be extradited.”

Mozambique defaulted on a bond meant to guarantee $2 billion in loans for maritime projects. Hundreds of millions of dollars were allegedly looted from Mozambique and tipped the country into an economic crisis. Chang and Najib Allam, the former chief financial officer of shipbuilder Privinvest Group, are facing charges that include conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering.

Chang’s lawyer, Adam Ford, on Monday, said his client would seek to dismiss the case because the US had taken too long to bring him to trial. Ford argued that US prosecutors “lost interest” in Chang after Jean Boustani, a Privinvest salesman accused of paying $200 million in bribes to Mozambican officials and bankers, was acquitted in a 2019 Brooklyn trial.

Samidh Guha, a lawyer for Allam also told Garaufis he’d move to dismiss the case because the US had taken too long to bring it to trial. Allam is in Lebanon, his lawyer said. While the US doesn’t have an extradition treaty with that country, Mehta said the US would seek Allam’s extradition if he’s arrested.

Mozambique is also challenging in the London High Court the validity of two associated loans that Credit Suisse and Russia’s VTB Capital arranged as part of the $2 billion package. That trial is due to start later this year but could be in jeopardy because of Mozambique’s failure to disclose key documents, according to the judge overseeing the case.

The case is US v Boustani, 18-CR-681, US District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

Further Africa


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