THE DELAGOA BAY REVIEW

09/12/2010

WIKILEAKS MOÇAMBIQUE 4/996

Filed under: EUA — ABM @ 2:54 pm

por ABM (9 de Dezembro de 2010)

Para que não hajam interpretações mais iluminadas, a exacerbar ou a descontar o seu conteúdo, em baixo o que terá sido originado da mão do anterior Encarregado de Negócios da Embaixada norte-americana em Maputo, o Sr. Todd Chapman: o texto dos primeiro quatro dos supostos 996 documentos relacionados com Moçambique, inacreditavelmente surripiados por alguém do governo norte-americano.

Como se previa, o assuntos abordados parecem ser incontornáveis.

As quatro mensagens estão listadas por ordem cronológica, com data entre meados de 2009 e o final de Janeiro de 2010.

Nota: “GRM” quer dizer “Governo de Moçambique”.

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0443
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0430
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000713
SIPDIS
NOFORN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2019
TAGS: SNAR EFIN KCOR PTER PGOV PREL MZ
SUBJECT: RISING CONCERNS ABOUT NARCOTRAFFICKING AND MONEY
LAUNDERING IN MOZAMBIQUE
REF: A. 08 MAPUTO 1228
B. 08 MAPUTO 1098
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Todd C.Chapman, Reasons 1.4(b+d)
1. (S/NF) Summary: Large-scale narcotics shipments pass
through Mozambique, taking advantage of a vast and lightly
guarded coastline. Money laundering may be increasing.
Narcotraffickers in the country have connections to South
Asia, and some appear to have links to the ruling Frelimo
party and the GRM. Using Department of State INL funds, the
Embassy has led a successful border security program with the
Portuguese Embassy that has resulted in the seizure of
narcotics. The mission has also provided support via DoD and
Treasury, and directed counternarcotic assessments by the
Africa Command, LegAtt, and DEA. While not a
thoroughly-corrupted narco-state, the trends in Mozambique
suggest cause for concern unless the GRM takes quick action
to address these growing problems. End Summary.
-------------------------------
Large Scale Narcotics Shipments
-------------------------------
2. (S/NF) In a series of investigative reports late last
year, Mozambique newsweekly Zambeze claimed Mozambique was
considered by some estimates to be the second largest drug
transit country in Africa after Guinea-Bissau. XXXXXXXXXXXX
Recent incidents suggest that larger amounts of
narcotics are indeed passing through the country, taking
advantage of a coastline twice the length of California's
with minimal control. Long-time commentator on Mozambique
Joseph Hanlon publicly declared in May that the value of
illicit drugs passing through the country probably surpasses
combined legal external trade. In mid-May, police seized $5
million in heroin at the Ressano Garcia-Lebombo border with
South Africa. In mid-June, police destroyed 7,000 liters of
precursor chemicals discovered at the port of Maputo from
China en route to South Africa; the United Nations Office of
Drug Control indicates that this port is heavily used to
import chemicals used for meth production. XXXXXXXXXXXX
 have described to P/E chief how
Pakistani-owned trucking companies based in Sofala province
over-declare imports at the Beira port as one way to hide the
quantities of drugs coming into the country. Early on June
20, police discovered about one ton of hashish at Chongouene
beach in Gaza province after receiving calls from local
fishermen about suspicious vehicle movements in the area.
-------------------------------------
Signs of Money Laundering Proliferate
-------------------------------------
3. (S/NF) A source inside the Frelimo party recently told
the Embassy that Mozambique, with ten banks and thirty
legally-registered exchange houses, has significantly more
financial institutions than the market in such an
impoverished country should be able to support with
legitimate business. He also observed that 1500 construction
projects are currently underway in Maputo--most financed with
cash and mostly in real estate, and noted that it was unusual
that housing prices in Maputo are increasing in spite of the
world financial crisis. Separately, Hanlon indicates that
the rapid growth in Mozambique's stock market is suspect, as
the value of stocks listed on the exchange is predicted to
reach $100 million within two years of opening. Finally, lax
regulation of casinos has raised concern by local radio and
TV commentators about that sector's role in money laundering.
---------------------------
Criminal Ties to South Asia
---------------------------
4. (S/NF) A USAID report issued in 2006 notes that commerce
in Maputo depends on the financial acumen of a small number
of Muslims of South Asian-descent who contribute generously
to the FRELIMO party. A major contributor to former
President Chissano and President Guebuza from this community,
who resides less than a hundred meters from the Presidential
Compound, Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), is the owner of the
MAPUTO 00000713 002 OF 003
commercial MBS Group. Contacts at all levels have advised
Emboffs that MBS is a known large-scale narco-trafficker.
They indicate that MBS uses his FRELIMO party connections, as
well as his shopping mall, supermarkets, and hotels to import
narcotics and launder money without official scrutiny. Other
South Asian businessmen with ties to FRELIMO also operate a
vast network of loosely-regulated money changing houses,
which reportedly maintain financial ties with more radical
organizations in
Pakistan and elsewhere.
5. (S/NF) A business contact recently shared with P/E chief
a copy of a letter from Mozambique's Chamber of Business
Associations (CTA) to the Prime Minister, expressing concern
about one company selling imported vegetable oils at prices
clearly below cost, noting that this type of price dumping
could result in the withdrawal from the market of other
companies and ultimately a monopoly to form. The contact
said that the letter was in response to efforts by the MBS
Group to consolidate control of this sector--but in reality
the message had nothing to do with vegetable oil--rather, it
was a veiled warning from the business community to the
government that MBS Group's use of
vegetable oil to cover the import of illicit drugs was
so brazen that it was no longer tolerable.
------------------------------------
Narcotrafficking Connections in GRM?
------------------------------------
6. (S/NF) The Frelimo source also told the Charge that MBS
Group regularly uses phantom imports to launder money, and
indicated that MBS and another immigrant, Ahmed Gassan (owner
of the Home Center Furniture store) collude with the GRM's
head of customs (who he called "the King of Corruption")
to reduce scrutiny on imports. The source also indicated
that Gassan's business interests are personally protected by
Minister of Planning and Development Aiuba Cuereneia.
--------------------------------------------- ----------
USG Border Security, OTA, DoD Support, Other Assessments
--------------------------------------------- ----------
7. (C) Using Department of State INL bureau funds, the
Embassy has a highly-successful joint project with the
Embassy of Portugal to provide training for GRM border
guards. With a very small investment of less than $200,000,
this program has led to the seizure of $2.5 million in cash
and the arrest of two Pakistani smugglers (ref B). While the
program was denied funding in FY09, it may receive support
again in FY10. Mozambique's Tax Authority (AT) has garnered
a reputation for honesty and transparency, and the AT's
director has publicly criticized the head of Customs about
smuggling concerns. Via the Department of Treasury's Office
of Technical Assistance, the USG is providing training and
capacity building to the AT, and is reviewing ways to
specifically support the AT's Financial Intelligence Unit.
DoD provided maritime training, small boats , and coastal
monitoring systems to the FADM and more of this type of
support is programmed for the future. Finally, at the
request of the Embassy, Africa Command, DEA, Treasury and
LegAtt representatives visited Maputo in early June to
conduct a joint assessment of the drug trafficking problem
and the GRM's capabilities. Initial findings validated the
pervasiveness of the problem and identified the institutional
weakness and level of corruption of Mozambican law
enforcement agencies as core problems inhibiting a coherent
government response.
8. (SBU) At the most recent mini-Dublin meeting chaired in
late-May by the Portuguese Embassy, representatives from the
Dutch, British and German embassies specifically pointed out
weaknesses in the GRM's enforcement activities, highlighting
that concerns are widespread in the international community.
These concerns were quickly borne out, as in a presentation
at the meeting, a representative of the GRM's Inter-agency
Working Group on Narcotrafficking focused entirely on
domestic consumption and addressing the health needs of local
drug addicts.
--------------------------------------------- -----------
Comment: Not Thoroughly-Corrupted, but Cause for Concern
MAPUTO 00000713 003 OF 003
--------------------------------------------- -----------
9. (S/NF) Mozambique most certainly is not yet a
thoroughly-corrupted narco-state. However, it is becoming
increasingly clear that the magnitude of the drug shipments
passing through Mozambique may be on a much larger scale than
previously understood, taking advantage of the country's long
and unprotected coast and the facility with which port and
customs officials can be bribed. Money laundering, related
government corruption (possibly even official support), and
ties to South Asia mean that the problem has the potential to
get much worse. While the mission has made initial steps to
bring USG resources to bear, the road ahead will require a
comprehensive and coordinated effort by the international
community to staunch the flow of drugs, not to mention
strengthen the political will of the GRM to take concrete
action.
CHAPMAN

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DE RUEHTO #1291/01 3200705
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 160705Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0991
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0569
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001291
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCOR SNAR MZ
SUBJECT: IMPORTANT DRUG TRAFFICKING
TRANSIT POINT FOR EAST AFRICA
REF: STATE 105731
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires
Todd C. Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b and
d)
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Drug trafficking is a growing problem
 in Mozambique,  with illegal drugs entering via air and
sea routes from South  Asia and  South America.
 Porous borders, lack of law enforcement
 resources, and  rampant corruption allow
drug traffickers to freely transit  the country.
END SUMMARY
----------
Air Routes
----------
2. (S) The primary route for cocaine is by air to Maputo
from Brazil  via Johannesburg, Lisbon or Luanda. On arrival
passengers and  baggage  do not pass through immigration and
customs, which allows  them to avoid  he improved security at
the airports of origin. Drugs  (mostly cocaine)  are smuggled
overland to South Africa for local South African  consumption
or onward to Europe. Cocaine is often smuggled by mules  and/or in
suitcases with hidden compartments. The drug traffickers
routinely bribe  Mozambique police, immigration and customs
 officials in order  to get the  drugs into the country. The
decrease in drug related arrests  at Maputo  International Airport
 is not attributable to improved  interdiction efforts  but rather increased
 police and customs involvement in drug smuggling.  A high level law
 enforcement official admits most police drug seizures
are not reported to his office because traffickers and police
make  on-the-spot arrangements to allow the drugs to continue to
flow.  Police and customs officials routinely detain drug smugglers
and are then bribed to release the smugglers and the drugs are
confiscated and resold. Domingos Tivane, the Director of Customs, is
 directly involved in facilitating drug shipments. Tivane has amassed
a personal fortune in excess of a million dollars, to include numerous
  investments around  Mozambique.
----------
Sea Routes
----------
3. (S) Transport by sea is the preferred route for hashish,  mandrax
and heroin shipments, often involving large quantities.  Drugs come
from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. They are then loaded
onto a  vessel that sails to Dar Es-Salam, Tanzania, or Mombasa,
Kenya.
Drugs are often concealed in containers with legitimate goods
and are  often offloaded and sent via land to Mozambique.
Alternatively, the vessel offloads its cargo in the Ports of Maputo, Beira and
especially  Nacala. Drugs are then smuggled overland to South Africa or  onward
 via  air, to the U.S. and Europe.
-----------------------------------
Two Main Drug Trafficking Networks
-----------------------------------
4. (S) There are two large drug trafficking networks that
operate  in Mozambique. Both of these networks have ties to South
East Asia.  Mohamed Bashir Suleiman (MBS) is the head of a well financed
MAPUTO 00001291 002 OF 002
organized  crime and money laundering network centered on the family  owned
and  managed business conglomerate Grupo MBS.
Suleiman uses Grupo  MBS and  proxies like Rassul Trading, run by Ghulam Rassul,
 and Niza  Group,  owned by the Ayoub family, to smuggle drugs from Pakistan via
 Dubai in containers carrying televisions, electrical equipment,  cooking oil
 and automobiles. The Suleiman family has connections in  South Africa, Somalia,
Pakistan, Latin America and Portugal, and maintains a complex structure of
businesses with a wide variety of commercial activities  that serve as a cover
for a multitude of illegal activities.  Suleiman has a close relationship
 with former President of  Mozambique  Joaquim Chissano and current President
Armando Guebuza, and  enjoys ties to senior level Mozambican officials, including
 the  Director of Customs, Tivane. Grupo MBS and the Suleiman family
reportedly  have connections in the Ibrahim Dawood international drug syndicate.
5. (S) Ghulam Rassul Moti is a Mozambique based ethnic
South Asian  narcotics trafficker who has smuggled hashish and heroin in the Nampula
province of Northern Mozambique since at least 1993. He has been linked to several
prominent international narcotics traffickers and uses these relationships and his
political influence to avoid customs and police inspections at the seaports
 and borders. Moti owns Rassul Trading Co. and Grupo ARJ which are major narcotics
importers in Nacala and suspected in the trafficking of persons, mainly Pakistanis.
Post is also seeing increased cooperation between West and East African based narcotics
networks with Mozambique drug networks. The main drug organizations are rumored to
support extremist Islamist elements in Mozambique.
--------------------------------------------- ----
Corruption of Senior Level Government Officials
--------------------------------------------- ----
6. (S) A porous border, lack of resources for law
enforcement as well as endemic corruption among Mozambique's senior level
 officials leads to a situation where drug traffickers
 are able to freely transit the country. Mid-level Mozambican
 officials are afraid to go after people involved in the major
 drug networks because they know they have connections to senior
level government officials. Senior members of the ruling FRELIMO
party are seeking to hide the level of corruption from the press,
the electorate and the international donor community. As a high level
law enforcement official also said recently in private, 'Some fish are too
 big to catch.'
CHAPMAN

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RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0080/01 0251156
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 251156Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1213
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0600
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000080
NOFORN
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCOR SNAR MZ
SUBJECT: NARCOTRAFFICKING ON UPSWING, CONCERNS ABOUT
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS
REF: A. 09 MAPUTO 1309
B. 09 MAPUTO 1291
C. 09 MAPUTO 713
D. 08 MAPUTO 1228
E. 08 MAPUTO 1098
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Todd Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b+d)
1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Mozambique has been called the second
most active narcotics transit point in Africa after Guinea
Bissau (Ref C). Despite anti-corruption rhetoric, the ruling
FRELIMO party has not shown much serious political will to
combat narcotrafficking. Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS),
described as the largest narcotrafficker in Mozambique, has
direct ties to President Guebuza and former President
Chissano. Other traffickers bribe both high and low level
officials. Chief of Customs Domingos Tivane is a significant
recipient of these narcotrafficking-related bribes. Police
officials told Embassy officers that they are unwilling to go
after "big fish" narcotraffickers because of their ties to
senior officials. The Ministries of Interior and Finance
have recently back-pedaled on U.S. efforts to engage and
assist in narcotrafficking and money laundering, a
significant associated problem. The management of the port
of Nacala, infamous for allowing the flow of drug
transshipments from southwest Asia, was recently taken over
by Celso Correia, principal of Insitec, Ltd, a Guebuza front
company. A new casino law reduces gambling restrictions in
Mozambique, providing another avenue for money laundering.
U.S. support to Border Security and the Mozambican military
(FADM) has resulted in modest seizures of money and drugs.
Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help elaborate
a comprehensive counter-narcotics trafficking (CNT) strategy.
Any such CNT strategy, after first gauging political will
which at this point is suspect, should consider the
strengthening of land and maritime border security,
professionalization of the police force, educational
programming for prosecutors on Mozambican CNT laws already in
place, and development of a financial intelligence
capability. END SUMMARY.
--------------------------------------------
NARCOTRAFFICKERS BLANDISHING GRM AND FRELIMO
--------------------------------------------
2. (S/NF) Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), described by
multiple contacts as the largest narcotrafficker in
Mozambique, contributes heavily to FRELIMO's coffers, and has
provided significant financial backing to the campaigns of
former President Joaquim Chissano and current President
Armando Guebuza. (Note: See TD-314/085221-09 regarding
written communication from the Office of the Presidency
directing certain containers be exempted from standard
scanning and scrutiny at the Port of Maputo. End Note.)
Traffickers, including MBS, Gulam Rassul, and the Ayoub
Family (Ref A) routinely bribe police, immigration and
customs officials to ensure that drugs can enter the country.
Domingos Tivane, Chief of the Customs Service, is a
significant recipient of bribes from narcotraffickers (Ref
B), and he recently purchased real estate in Maputo valued at
well beyond what his government salary should be able to
afford.
------------------------------------------
POLICE UNWILLING TO PURSUE MANY DRUG CASES
------------------------------------------
4. (S/NF) Senior members of the Mozambican Police (PRM) have
told Emboffs that potential CNT training would only help them
with small-scale traffickers, while other "big fish" would
remain too large to catch. Of the more than ten cocaine and
heroin seizures in 2009 at the Maputo airport, none have
resulted in prosecutions. A senior law enforcement official
has admitted to Emboffs that most drug seizures are not made
public and not prosecuted because police and customs
officials use such seizures to enrich themselves. Such
officials extract bribes, and may retain the drugs seized for
resale. Despite repeated requests, the Minister of Interior
(charged with overall responsibility for police and for
counter-narcotics) has refused to meet with the CDA to
discuss increased joint CNT efforts. The GRM recently raised
objections to an offer for a U.S. Department of Treasury
official to be embedded into the Financial Crimes Unit, after
initially agreeing to and supporting the offer.
---------------------------------------------
PROVINCIAL PORTS ATTRACTIVE FOR DRUG TRANSITS
MAPUTO 00000080 002 OF 002
---------------------------------------------
5. (S/NF) The port of Nacala in particular is believed to be
a major recipient of narcotics from Southwest Asia. In July
2009, Celso Correia, who is a principal in Insitec, Ltd, (a
company whose major shareholder is President Armando
Guebuza-septel), was installed as head of the Northern
Development Corridor (CDN) which includes the port of Nacala
and the northern rail network. Shortly thereafter, Ghulam
Rassul Moti, who has smuggled hashish and heroin into
northern Mozambique since at least 1993 (Ref B) greatly
reduced bribes to local Nacala and Nampula municipal
authorities and made the payments instead directly to senior
FRELIMO officials. Nampula Mayor Castro Serafim was reported
to be particularly irritated that these monthly payments had
been re-routed straight to higher-level FRELIMO leaders.
--------------------------------
NEW CASINO LAW CAUSE FOR CONCERN
--------------------------------
6. (S) In January, President Guebuza signed into law a new
"Casino Bill." Passed by the National Assembly (AR) in June
2009, the law relaxes restrictions on gambling in Mozambique,
reducing the minimum investment for a casino from $15 to $8
million, legalizing online gambling, and allowing slot
machines to be positioned in otherwise non-gambling
environments. The law also passes financial control of
casinos from the Ministry of Finance to the less rigorous
Ministry of Tourism. This bill was passed to encourage
tourism; however, given Mozambique's minimal financial
controls, the law will effectively reduce the barriers to
narcotraffickers looking to launder funds. Nazir Lunat, a
FRELIMO parliamentarian and influential imam in Maputo,
recently resigned from his position in the National Assembly
(AR) because of concerns over the law allowing casino
liberalizations.
-------------------------------------
USG SUPPORT HAS HAD POSITIVE OUTCOMES
-------------------------------------
7. (S) With USG support, there has been some progress in
combating drug trafficking. Using INL funds, Embassy Maputo,
working with the Embassy of Portugal, provided training to
border guards which resulted in the seizure of U.S. $2.5
million in cash and the arrest of two Pakistani smugglers
(Ref E). In mid-May 2009 police seized U.S. $5 million in
heroin at the Ressano Garcia border crossing into South
Africa. Employing 7-meter, rigid hull inflatable boats
donated by the DoD using Section 1206 funds, the Mozambican
navy has interdicted several drug shipments near the coast,
most recently in December.
------------------------------------------
COMMENT: COMPREHENSIVE CNT STRATEGY NEEDED
------------------------------------------
8. (S) Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help
elaborate a comprehensive CNT strategy. USG interests in CNT
in Mozambique involve multiple USG departments, including
State, DoD, DoJ, DHS, and Treasury. Our CNT strategy must
first address ways to strengthen the GRM's political will to
address narcotrafficking, while preparing Mozambique with a
host of programs, to include strengthening of land and
maritime border security, professionalization of the police
force, educational programming for prosecutors on Mozambican
CNT laws already in place, and development of a financial
intelligence capability.

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DE RUEHTO #0086/01 0280621
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 280621Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1221
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0605
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000086
NOFORN
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2020
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM KMCA MCC SNAR EINV MZ
SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXX TALKS OF CORRUPTION AT THE
HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
REF: A. MAPUTO 80
B. 07 MAPUTO 1395
MAPUTO 00000086 001.2 OF 003
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Todd Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b+d)
1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: The Charge recently met with XXXXXXXXXXXX
--("the source") who described his frustrations with FRELIMO, President
Guebuza, and Mohamed Bashir Suleiman (MBS). He complained that
they exercise  complete control over the licit and illicit economy of
Mozambique. The source, who has excellent connections within
the Government of Mozambique (GRM), including the private  number
of the President, as well as a personal relationship  with MBS,
said "I do not want to do business anymore in Mozambique
“ because of this triumverate of control. He is liquidating his
assets and leaving Mozambique, and says that he now sees
the "malaise" in Mozambique as if "he had cataracts
 but now see it all."
2. (S/NF) The source describes President Guebuza, who he
has known and befriended for the past twenty years as a
"vicious scorpion who will sting you," and has an even more
grav assessment of MBS. He cautions that FRELIMO is not
interested in bettering the life of Mozambique's citizens,
but rather its self-enrichment. In the licit economy, the
ruling party, FRELIMO, and MBS work in tandem to control the
legal and illegal economies and restrict the space for
private sector growth by demanding a cut of all significant
business transactions. In the illicit economy, MBS dominates
money laundering and drug transshipment, providing kickbacks
to FRELIMO. Other key players involved in pressuring the
business community for bribes or percentage stakes, according
to the source, are Domingos Tivane, head of Customs, and
former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo. END SUMMARY.
-----------------------------------
MOHAMED BASHIR SULEIMAN AND GUEBUZA
-----------------------------------
3. (S/NF) The source XXXXXXXXXXXX. He speculated that
over the next  term Guebuza would use his business proxies
to amass a still larger personal fortune. Guebuza manages his
business interests through several front companies, including
Celso Ismael Correia's Insitec and Salimo Abdullah's Intelec
Holdings. The source said that MBS meets directly with
President Guebuza, who has direct knowledge of MBS' funding
to both the FRELIMO party (underwriting the recent election
campaign) and Guebuza's front companies. The source, who
described Correia as a "30 year-old pipsqueak," stated that
Correia has no business experience or university degree, but
shows great loyalty to Guebuza.
4. (C) 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. Guebuza has shares in a significant
number of banks, including BCI Fomento (where Correia is
Chairman), Mocambique Capitais, Moza Banco, and Geocapital.
Through family members, Guebuza also controls Intelec
Business Advisory and Consulting, Beira Grain Terminal, MBT
Construction Ltd, Englob Consultants Ltd, Mozambique Power
Industries, Macequece Ltd, and Mozambique Natural Resources
Corp.
5. (S/NF) One new area that Guebuza appears to be
interested in is the gaming industry. The source says that
Guebuza forced the Constitutional Council (CC) to review and
declare a recent law liberalizing the gaming industry as
"constitutional" even though it calls for all casino assets
to revert to the state after a defined period of time, in
direct contravention of private property laws enshrined in
the Constitution. The judges of the CC, who also ruled in
favor of decisions during the elections to invalidate large
numbers of opposition candidates in the legislative and
presidential races, complained of the unconstitutionality of
the new law, but were told to give it a favorable ruling,
which they did.
6. (S/NF) The source elaborated on the depth of Guebuza's
business interests, which range across the economy. He said
MAPUTO 00000086 002.2 OF 003
that Guebuza is in on almost all of the "mega-project"
multi-million dollar deals via contractual stipulations to
work with the Mozambican private sector. One example is
Guebuza's involvement in the 2007 purchase of Cahora Bassa
Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) from the Portuguese Government for
$950 million. $700 million of this was paid by a private
consortium of banks, which was arranged by a Guebuza proxy,
for which Guebuza received, while he was a sitting president,
an estimated commission of between $35 and $50 million. The
Portuguese bank which arranged the financing turned over its
shares in BCI Fomento, one of the largest Mozambican
commercial banks, to a Guebuza-controlled company.
---------------
MBS AND FRELIMO
---------------
7. (S/NF) The source, says that FRELIMO brazenly squeezes
the business community for kickbacks. As an example, the
source said that he has personally seen Manuel Tome, former
FRELIMO Secretary General, senior member of the National
Assembly, and relative of President Chissano, in MBS' office
receiving pay-offs quite openly. Head of Customs Domingos
Tivane openly demands and receives payoffs from importers,
including MBS. The source stated that one business contact
remarked to him that when visiting Tivane's expansive home to
deliver a bribe he noticed that the bureaucrat had solid gold
fixtures in his bathroom. The source also stated that former
Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, until she was removed from the
Cabinet (septel), was heavily involved in taking bribes for
FRELIMO, of which she kept a percentage. Similar allegations
were raised in the 21 January issue of Zambeze, regarding
soft loans paid to Diogo's husband Albano Silva, purchases of
houses and buildings for a fraction of their value, as well
as Diogo's close ties to officials such as Diodino Cambaza,
whose corruption trial is ongoing.
8. (S/NF) At the ports, the source commented that FRELIMO
has its own clearing agent that handles FRELIMO and MBS
business. The clearing agent chronically under-invoices
items, avoids the 17% VAT, and also has an arrangement with
Tivane's Customs authorities to bypass the ports' mandatory
scanning. The source has documentary proof of the
under-invoicing by MBS, and poloff has seen MBS' trucks drive
through the port without being scanned. Nonetheless, the
source said that Government of Mozambique (GRM) officials
routinely describe MBS as an "untouchable" due to his
connections to Tivane and Guebuza, a situation which is
reported to irk a cash-strapped Tax Authority (AT) President
Rosario Fernandes.
-------------------------
MBS AND OTHER BUSINESSMEN
-------------------------
9. (S/NF) Regarding MBS' retail operation, the source
states that MBS does not tolerate competition. The source's
milk processing facility was threatened by MBS who used
VAT-avoidance and under-invoicing to dump vast quantities of
imported condensed milk on the market in order to put the
source out of business. Only after the source made an
agreement with MBS for exclusive distribution of his milk
products, with a 10% kickback on all sales to MBS, did MBS
stop his dumping practices. Other businessmen have
complained about similar practices in other commodities to
include edible oil. The source complained that "even those
who bribe" MBS or FRELIMO cannot make a profit under such
conditions.
------------------------------
NARCOTICS AND MONEY LAUNDERING
------------------------------
10. (S/NF) The source says he only has second hand
knowledge of drug trafficking and money laundering in
Mozambique. He said that "MBS and the 'Nacala dealers' all
have offices in Dubai" to facilitate money laundering
operations in Mozambique. It is through these operations
that after 15 years in business in Mozambique, MBS was able
to pay $30 million in cash to establish his shopping plaza
downtown, Maputo Shopping, which opened in 2007. The source
said that he asked prominent Ismaili/Aga Khan businessman
Mustaque Ali how MBS became so rich so fast, and Ali's wry
answer was "Johnson's baby powder," a euphemism for drugs.
The source noted that the sometimes erratic changes in
MAPUTO 00000086 003.2 OF 003
Mozambique's foreign exchange position are due to sudden
multi-million dollar transfers of cash overseas tied to money
laundering. The source commented that in the past few years
there have been several embarrassing situations in which
shiploads of drugs, primarily hashish and heroin have washed
ashore; however, the media is usually afraid to report on
such incidents because no one wants to become another Carlos
Cardoso, the courageous Mozambican journalist who was
murdered in 2000 while investigating a massive bank fraud
tied to then-President Chissano's family.
---------------------------------------------
COMMENT: CANDID COMMENTS FROM A CONNECTED MAN
---------------------------------------------
11. (S/NF) The source, XXXXXXXXXXXX While he has an axe to
grind because he is frustrated with the scope and depth of
corruption in Mozambique, his statements corroborate what we
have learned from other sources (Ref A). Ties with MBS and
other known money launders and narcotraffickers by senior GRM
officials are disturbing and demonstrate a short-sighted
focus on self-enrichment. The source cautions against
building long term relationships with FRELIMO, and fears
that, having allowed the illicit economy to prosper, and
having advertised Mozambique as a money laundering
destination and drug transshipment hotspot, the ruling party
will no longer be able to control the nefarious activities
within its borders. Rumors and stories of corruption abound
in Mozambique, but rarely will a successful well-connected
XXXXXXXXXXXX be willing to share specific practices based
on first-hand knowledge and participation in these practices.
CHAPMAN

1 Comentário »

  1. Obrigada ABM, vou partilhar.

    Comentar por Lucia Costa — 09/12/2010 @ 7:08 pm


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