Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mozambican leader linked to drug trafficking, money laundering, purchase commission- Wikileaks

Mozambican leader linked to drug trafficking, money laundering, purchase commission- Wikileaks

December 10th, 2010 in News, Society

APA-Maputo(Mozambique) Mozambican president Armando Emilio Guebuza received a personal commission of between US$35 and US$50 million for his part on the negotiations leading to the purchase of the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam from Portugal, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, while linking Guebuza to a drug trafficking and money laundering racket.

The cables are part of a trove of 250,000 classified US State Department documents obtained by WikiLeaks and published online.

Guebuza was instrumental in negotiations that culminated in the 2007 purchase of Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) from the Portuguese Government for US$950 million, and US$700 million of this was paid by a private Consortium of banks.

The cables said the money from the banks was arranged by Guebuza which resulted in him getting the commission.

The Mozambican cables prepared by Todd Chapman, then charge d’affairsn are based on information from a source described by the diplomat as having “known and befriended for the past twenty years”.

The source is further cited in Chapman’s cables describing Guebuza as a “vicious scorpion who will sting you."

“Guebuza’s business interests in Mozambique are legion. They include stakes in Mocambique Gestores (MG), Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) which runs Maputo Port, Focus 21, Navique, Vodacom, and SASOL.

“Guebuza also has a share in Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) which controls the toll road from Maputo to South Africa, according to the source,” according to the cables.

The cables also link Guebuza and former president Joaquim Chissano to a drug trafficking and money laundering racket.

It makes links between Guebuza, Chissano and Mohamed Bashir Suleman owner of MBS business group, who was in June, this year, listed by the US government as a drug kingpin.

The cables also noted the two leaders had ‘multiple contacts’ with Suleman who contributed heavily to the ruling Frelimo campaigns by backing ‘former President Joaquim Chissano and current President Armando Guebuza.’

US spokesman, Tobias Bradford, told reporters in Maputo, late Thursday, that the US government does not comment on classified information.

He, however, said his government had communicated with the Mozambican government on its concern over drug trafficking across the southern African country.

It was not immediately possible to get comment from the Mozambican government as three calls to the Prime Minister’s office were not answered on Friday.


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