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Thursday, 07 February 2019

Mozambique’s former finance minister re-requests bail

Mozambique’s former finance minister, who is wanted in the US and in Mozambique in relation to a $2 billion fraud scandal, has re-requested bail by arguing that he is not a flight risk because he is unlikely to be extradited, according to Reuters.

Manuel Chang reportedly made the new bail request last week. Chang, who has been in custody in South Africa since 29 December, initially asked for bail on 8 January but dropped the request on 18 January as the US and Mozambican governments made separate demands for his extradition. 

The Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg will reportedly make separate rulings on Chang’s bail plea and the US extradition request on 15 February.

National Australia Bank bosses quit following misconduct probe

The National Australia Bank (NAB) said its CEO and chairman are resigning following the conclusion of Australia’s Banking Royal Commission into the financial sector, according to a statement

The final report by the commission on 4 February singled out NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry for their unwillingness to accept responsibility for wrongdoing in the bank’s charging of fees to pension fund holders for services NAB did not provide.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission reportedly investigated NAB in August 2018 over the conduct.

In a statement, Thorburn and Henry said they recognised the bank’s need for change.

Thorburn will leave NAB on 28 February and Henry will retire after the bank appoints a new CEO. 

NCA secures forfeiture order for illicit funds held by son of Moldova’s ex-PM

The son of Moldova’s ex-prime minister must hand over nearly half a million pounds to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) after a judge at the City of London Magistrates’ Court said he was satisfied that the cash held in three frozen accounts was derived from his father’s criminal conduct, the agency announced on 7 February.  

The news comes after the NCA froze Vlad Luca Filat’s three accounts in May 2018 using account freezing orders – a new tool provided for by the 2017 Criminal Finances Act. Lawyers previously said they expected the NCA to frequently use the tool in criminal cases. 

Luca’s father, Vladimir Filat, is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in Moldova for his part in the disappearance of £646m from three of the country’s banks.

Vale hires Skadden to investigate mine collapse

Brazilian mining company Vale said in a 31 January statement that it has hired Skadden Arps Meagher and Flom to investigate the cause of the collapse of the dam at the Brumandinho iron ore mine on 25 January.

“Skadden will instruct the panel of experts to provide their independent professional opinion and expertise to determine the cause of the incident,” the statement reads.

The company said in the statement that it will cooperate with Brazilian authorities investigating the matter but that Skadden’s legal advice will be protected by attorney-client privilege unless the company chooses to waive it.

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