Mozambican officials have launched a probe after an audit raised questions over 500 million U.S. dollars of secret government loans, the country’s prosecutor’s office said Saturday.
The audit, by British risk management firm Kroll, revealed the 500-million-dollar gap from a total of 2 billion dollars in loans, said a statement from the office.
Findings of unapproved credits to tuna fishing company EMATUM, security firm Proindicus and Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) have led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and donor countries to halt financial support to Mozambique which dealt a blow to the economic growth of the Southeast African nation.
In a summary of the audit, Kroll said Mozambican officials had given inconsistent answers about how 500 million dollars earmarked for the tuna fishing company had been spent.
“Gaps remain in understanding how exactly the 2 billion dollars were spent, despite considerable efforts to close those gaps,” it said.
“Until the inconsistencies are resolved, and satisfactory documentation is provided, at least 500 million dollars of expenditure of a potentially sensitive nature remains unaudited and unexplained,” it added.
The audit summary found that the companies that borrowed money are not operational and also identified their mismanagement in complying with contract obligations.
The IMF also praised the prosecutor’s office for releasing the summary report, saying that it was a step forward towards transparency over the debts.
A mission from the IMF is expected to discuss the audit results with the Mozambican authorities in July. Enditem