NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Three former Credit Suisse Group bankers were arrested in London on Thursday (Jan 3) on US charges that they took part in a US$2 billion (S$2.73 billion) fraud scheme involving state-owned companies in Mozambique, a spokesman for US prosecutors said.
Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva were charged in an indictment in Brooklyn, New York federal court with conspiring to violate US anti-bribery law and to commit money laundering and securities fraud, according to spokesman John Marzulli. They have been released on bail.
The arrests came five days after former Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa as part of the same criminal case, which was brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
The prosecutors will seek to have all of the defendants extradited to the United States, according to Marzulli.
Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment after business hours in New York and London.
"The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank's internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank," Credit Suisse said in a statement. It added that the bank will continue to cooperate with authorities.
Chang oversaw Mozambique's finances when it failed to disclose government guarantees for US$2 billion in international borrowing by state-owned firms. The disclosure of those loans in 2016 plunged the southern African country into a suffocating debt crisis it is still struggling to climb out of two years later.