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Why are Mozambique and the US fighting over Manuel Chang?

By Patrick Smith, Sofia Mapuranga
Posted on Thursday, 15 July 2021 10:24

South Africa Fraud case
Former Mozambican finance minister, Manuel Chang, in court in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019. AP Photo/Phill Magakoe)

At the centre of Mozambique’s $2bn tuna bond scandal, is former finance minister Manuel Chang. The scandal, US prosecutors say, involved a criminal network of Mozambican officials conspiring with partners in foreign banks and shipbuilding companies to set up fraudulent projects.

They profited from loans and kickbacks from overpriced services and equipment saddling Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest states, with debts of over $2b. The scandal, which dates back to 2013-14, triggered Mozambique’s financial crisis, from which it is yet to recover.