The company conducting an international audit into Mozambique’s three maritime security companies that borrowed $2 billion with sovereign guarantees, has been given another month’s extension to complete its report, originally due at the end of February.
According to a statement from the office of Mozambique’s Attorney General, the PGR, which is overseeing the audit in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and the Swedish Embassy, Kroll now has until 28 April to submit its report. The deadline was already extended in mid-February to 31 March.
A source connected to the process told Zitamar News that Kroll asked for more time earlier this week, “and had valid reasons to do so.”
The announcement comes just two days after the head of the IMF’s Africa Department, Abebe Selassie, said he “hope[d]the audit will be finished in the next couple of weeks.” On 13 March, the Swedish Ambassador to Mozambique, Irina Scholgin-Nyoni, told journalists that the audit would be ready “by the end of this month.”
On Thursday 23 March, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice confirmed that the report will be made public once it has been completed.
The new timetable risks delaying the Finance Ministry’s plans to begin negotiations to restructure the $1.7 billion that remains of the debts. One group of creditors has said it will not start talks until the audit is published. Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane has said he hopes the government’s financial advisors will have a restructure proposal ready by the end of March.
According to today’s statement from the PGR, the transnational nature of the audit led to complexities that have caused delays in the provision of information. As a result, the PGR said, Kroll requested another extension, which was granted, to 28 April.
Kroll was expected to investigate the roles of not only the three Mozambican companies – ProIndicus, EMATUM, and MAM – but also the banks which financed the deals, Credit Suisse and VTB, and Privinvest, the Lebanese group which benefited from the contracts and whose financial advisory firm, Palomar Capital, helped arrange financing for MAM.
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