Monday, May 24, 2021

Mozambique: French Billionaire Gets A Favorable Ruling In Tussle Over $2 Billion Tuna Bond Scandal

From Bloomberg, May 21:

  • Safa’s company wants protection from damages if bribes proven
  • $2 billion in loans were organized in part by Credit Suisse

A French billionaire got a boost in his battle with the president of Mozambique over their roles in a $2 billion loan scandal to finance a fishing fleet that embroiled banks including Credit Suisse Group AG.

Iskandar Safa and his shipbuilding company Privinvest won a London court ruling on Friday allowing them to try to hold President Filipe Nyusi legally responsible for any damages if payments made to Nyusi were found to be bribes.

Privinvest said earlier this year it made campaign donations to Nyusi and other senior officials after negotiating contracts for government maritime projects but has denied the remittances were bribes. Nyusi was the ruling Frelimo party’s candidate for president at the time a payment was made to him in April 2014.

“It would have been artificial if President Nyusi had not been a defendant to Mozambique’s claims, given his centrality to the alleged wrongdoing,” Privinvest said in a statement, calling the Mozambican government’s claims “meritless.”

Nyusi can’t claim immunity from his time before he was head of state, Privinvest’s lawyer Duncan Matthews argued. But actually serving the claim on Nyusi is certain to prove difficult, he said in a court filing....