The Republic of Mozambique and the $2 billion tuna bond scandal
Peters & Peters acts for the Republic of Mozambique in US$2 billion Commercial Court proceedings against Credit Suisse, Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilder Privinvest, its CEO Iskandar Safa and certain former Credit Suisse employees, arising from what the Republic alleges is a massive fraud known as the “hidden debts” scandal.
The Republic is also a defendant to various claims issued by six different sets of claimants: VTB Capital Plc, VTB Bank (Europe) SE, Banco Comercial Portugues S.A., Beauregarde Holdings LLP, Orobica Holdings LLP and the United Bank for Africa. The Republic has responded to each of these claims by issuing an application contesting jurisdiction.
Following a hearing before Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE on 19-21 July 2021, these proceedings are to be case managed together. The proceedings will be heard together at a three-month unitary trial commencing in October 2023.
The claims arise out of three transactions comprising three facility agreements and three purported sovereign guarantees that purportedly secured very large loans connected with three deals going back to 2013. Mozambique, acting through its Attorney General, claims the purported sovereign guarantees arranged by Credit Suisse and VTB Capital were each the product of bribery and corruption perpetrated and/or participated in by Credit Suisse, various companies in the Privinvest Group, certain former Credit Suisse employees, and Iskandar Safa, the CEO and Controller of the Privinvest Group.
The Republic is seeking relief for the wrongful conduct of the defendants including bribes paid to members of Credit Suisse’s deal team and various former Mozambican officials, which totalled over US$130million.