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Will Mozambique do a deal with Privinvest over tuna bonds?

Reaching a settlement with its bitter enemy could earn the government political capital, although it will not wipe away the damage done by the hidden debts

The High Court in London

Good afternoon. The Mozambican government’s settlement with the banks VTB and BCP, which was exclusively revealed by Zitamar News last week and publicly announced yesterday, means that Lebanese shipbuilding firm Privinvest is the last remaining defendant in the government’s legal action in London over the so-called “hidden debts” or “tuna bond” corruption scandal. Mozambique is seeking $2bn in damages from Privinvest over claims that the firm paid bribes to secure contracts backed by debts which wrecked the economy and turned Mozambique into a pariah among foreign donors.

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It was always rather likely that this would happen. Mozambique’s main adversary in the case has always been Privinvest, and, if the government’s claims are true, the banks that arranged the loans and which have subsequently settled with the government were just facilitating its corruption. The interests of the defendants were not all aligned; Privinvest may yet sue one of those banks, Credit Suisse, if it loses the case.

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