Former Credit Suisse banker kept $45m in bribes hidden in Mozambican loan scheme

Pedro Gonçalves
Former Credit Suisse banker kept $45m in bribes hidden in Mozambican loan scheme

An ex-Credit Suisse banker has told a court in New York how he took in $45m in bribes while helping Mozambican firms secure loans worth $2bn, Bloomberg reported.

Former banker Andrew Pearse, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy, testified that at least four other Credit Suisse bankers also took millions of dollars in bribes from shipbuilder Privinvest Group.

"They all played a role in ensuring the bank made the loans," Pearse testified Wednesday. "They provided the bank with false information about Privinvest."

It's nothing, given the $50m I already paid him"

The testimony is part of a larger case against Privinvest salesman Jean Boustani, who prosecutors claim led a plot to defraud US investors. Prosecutors claim Privinvest leaders charged the Mozambique government higher prices for three ship projects and used the additional funds for bribes.

Four Mozambican officials also got millions of dollars in kickbacks from Privinvest, and the son of the country's then-president, Armando Guebuza, collected at least $50m in illegal payments, according to Pearse.

Ndambi Guebuza, the former president's son, once demanded Boustani pay him an additional €11m, Pearse testified.

"He was living in the South of France and asked to buy a house for himself and a prostitute he'd fallen in love with," Pearse said. "He wanted €11m to buy a house with the prostitute."

When he expressed surprise at Ndambi Guebuza's request, Pearse said Boustani only shrugged, saying, "It's nothing, given the $50m I already paid him."

"The son introduced the defendant to his father and to the ministers in the Mozambique government who were necessary for the project to proceed," Pearse said.

Pearse first pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy on July 19.

Credit Suisse did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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