US prosecutors charge 5 in Mozambique naval projects scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. prosecutors say five people have been charged in a $2 billion fraud scheme involving sham naval and other projects for the country of Mozambique.

An indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn names Manuel Chang, the African nation’s former finance minister, as one of the defendants. Prosecutors say Chang was arrested and detained in South Africa pending the outcome of an extradition request.

The indictment says the scheme involved companies created by Mozambique to obtain loans that were supposed to be used to provide coastal surveillance, do tuna fishing and build shipyards. Instead, it says the projects were fronts that allowed the defendants to pay at least $200 million in bribes and kickbacks to themselves, government officials and others.

Mozambique’s mission to the United Nations had no immediate comment Thursday.

Categories: National & International News