FBI probes Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and VTB over Mozambique bond

The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating three international banks for their roles in selling about $2 billion of debt for Mozambique according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The investigation by both the FBI and the Justice Department “opens a new phase in the global inquiry into the bond deals,” people familiar with the matter told WSJ.

According to the same source, the FBI is looking into whether the banks facilitated corruption by enabling Mozambican officials to take money raised in the debt sales.

Swiss lender Credit Suisse Group AG, Russian bank VTB Group and French bank BNP Paribas SA are focuses of the U.S. probes, according to the same people cited by WSJ.

Citing sources “familiar to the matter”, the WSJ further reports that Attorneys from the Justice Department’s Washington, D.C., division specializing in money laundering and asset recovery met this summer with investors who had been sold the Mozambican bonds and requested they provide all documents and communications from the banks.

Justice officials also have met with Credit Suisse and VTB bankers and lawyers based in London, where the deals were originated, to discuss the transactions and follow-up dealings with investors and Mozambique, the people familiar with the matter have told the Wall Street Journal.

Source: Wall Street Journal, ClubofMozambique