New Zealand-born Andrew Pearse has admitted to New York jury of receiving US$45 million in bribes as part of a US$2 billion loan organised by his former employer Credit Suisse to government-owned maritime companies. He was arrested in London in January after an indictment filed by the United States Department of Justice charged him with four counts of fraud and money laundering.
The Justice Department also charged two executives of United Arab Emirates shipbuilding company Privinvest Group, three former senior Mozambican government officials, and two former London investment bankers for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme that defrauded American and global investors.
It was reported that various people stole $200 million out of this loan proceeds.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Pearse was a key witness testifying against Privinvest employee Jean Boustani before a federal jury in New York. Privinvest paid US$150m in bribe to Mozambican government officials to facilitate the loan arrangements. Pearse worked as head of Credit Suisse’s Global Financing Group until September 2013 and left the bank to allegedly set up subsidiaries with Privinvest, which is owned by Lebanon-born French billionaire Iskandar Safa.
Mozambique government created three companies to undertake maritime projects for surveillance, tuna fishing and building and maintaining ship yards. The companies gave the contract to Privinvest for these projects. stuff.co.nz reported.
Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva, two former Credit Suisse bankers will also testify for the government. Both have pleaded guilty.
Former Credit Suisse bankers Singh, Subeva, Pearse, Said Freiha and Adel Afiouni made a multimillion-dollar profit after Privinvest paid more than $US10 million for a company they established while working at the bank, Pearse told jurors. Neither Freiha, Afiouni nor Credit Suisse have been charged with wrongdoing.
Pearse testified that Boustani helped him set up a bank account in the United Arab Emirates to hide the $US45 million he had paid him, even providing him with the necessary work permit for a job as a “tube welder” at a construction site.
Pearse said the son of the country’s then-president, Armando Guebuza, collected at least $US50 million in illegal payments. Guebuza introduced Jean Boustani, a Privinvest salesman to his father and to the ministers in the Mozambique government who were necessary for the project to proceed. Ndambi Guebuza was arrested by Mozambican authorities in February and is fighting charges. Sydney Morning Herald reported.