Abu Dhabi’s Privinvest sues Mozambique in debt scandal

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1555353630885346000
Mon, 2019-04-15 18:03

JOHANNESBURG: Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilder Privinvest said on
Monday it had begun arbitration proceedings to claim compensation
against three Mozambican state-owned companies at the center of a
$2 billion debt scandal.
Privinvest’s claim comes nearly two months after Mozambique named
the company in a lawsuit against firms involved in arranging loans
meant primarily to fund a fleet of fishing boats but which ended up
tipping Mozambique into a debt crisis.
The US Justice Department alleges several people, including a
former employee of Privinvest, facilitated $200 million in bribes
and kickbacks to themselves and government officials from the $2
billion loans.
The loans were not disclosed to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) as required for those nations seeking financial assistance,
and included an $850 million “tuna bond” to finance a fleet of
fishing boats in 2013.
In a statement, Privinvest spokesman Jeffrey Birnbaum did not
specify the amount of money being claimed for breaching contractual
supply agreements. He declined to tell Reuters what arbitration
mechanism was being used or where it was taking place.
The company had signed contracts with three Mozambican state-owned
companies — Mozambique Asset Management, Ematum and ProIndicus
— to supply ships, run shipyards and provide maritime security
for the country.
Calls to the Mozambique Attorney General’s Office and companies
involved went unanswered.
The southern African state admitted in 2016 to the undisclosed
lending, prompting the IMF and foreign donors to cut off support.
That triggered a currency collapse and a default on Mozambique’s
sovereign debt.
It is still struggling with the economic impact.

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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Abu Dhabi’s Privinvest sues Mozambique in debt scandal