UK returns more than 66 million to Mozambique

Reino Unido devolve mais de 66 milhões a Moçambique

On Tuesday (07), in the Bailiwick of Jersey, the United Kingdom returned 829,500 pounds (around 66,343,913.40 meticais at the current exchange rate) to Mozambique, as part of the signing of the first agreement to return assets from illegal activities on foreign territory.

According to the memorandum, the returned assets will be used by the Mozambican authorities to combat financial crime. The largest share will be used by the Central Asset Recovery Office, the Central Anti-Corruption Office and the Asset Management Office of the Republic of Mozambique to promote their development and law enforcement.

The funds will also be used by the investigation and prosecution institutions to support a five-day training course for sixty trainees from Mozambique's eleven provinces on international and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

The document was signed by the Deputy Attorney General of Mozambique, Alberto Paulo, and the Attorney General of Jersey, Mark Temple KC.

According to a note from the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) to which we have had access, the agreement "follows a request from the Jersey Attorney General to confiscate funds deposited in a trust institution in Jersey, which had been deposited by the Mozambican citizen, Carlos Fragoso, who had received bribe payments in the course of his work in Mozambique."'

Carlos Fragoso deposited funds with Tolvex Trust in 1996, claiming that he was a civil engineer who was trying to benefit his family with savings from his previous income, reads the MP's document.

However, in the course of his professional career, Fragoso held high-profile positions, including the National Directorate of Roads and Bridges and the Presidency of the National Roads Administration.

In 2013, the Royal Court discovered that Fragoso had set up another trust in Jersey, using the same sham regarding his employment and sources of income. The court also found that his assets were the product of bribes paid to him by companies wanting to secure construction contracts in Mozambique.

"This led to the suspicion that the Tolvex Trust might also contain proceeds of crime resulting from bribery and corruption," he says.

Subsequently, and with the support of the Mozambican authorities, the Economic Crime and Forfeiture Unit of the Department of Justice successfully requested the confiscation of the funds held by the trust.

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