Former Bankers Get Arrested for Huge Crime

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. fraud / frɔd / (n) – the crime of taking money or property using a dishonest method

    The employee was arrested for bank fraud.

  2. impoverished / ɪmˈpɑːvərɪʃt / (adj) – very poor

    The organization aims to help impoverished communities.

  3. conspire / kənˈspajɚ / (v) – to agree with someone to do something illegal

    The bank employees reportedly conspired with the thief.

  4. front / frʌnt / (n) – something used to hide an illegal activity

    The fake projects were used as fronts for fraud.

  5. pocket / ˈpɑːkət / (v) – to steal something

    The corrupt politician pocketed a huge sum of money from the government’s budget.


Read the text below.

Three ex-bankers were recently arrested in London following fraud charges filed in a federal court in New York.

The accused include Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, and Detelina Subeva, former employees of the multinational bank Credit Suisse. They reportedly deceived US investors by approving fraudulent loans for state-owned companies in Mozambique /ˌmoʊzəmˈbiːk /, an impoverished country in Africa.

Between 2013 and 2016, these bankers carried out the fraud by conspiring with Manuel Chang, Mozambique’s former finance minister, and Jean Boustani, a Lebanese businessman.

The former Credit Suisse bankers allowed the Mozambican companies to borrow more than $2 billion from international investors. The money was supposed to be used for different developmental projects. However, the projects and the companies were used only as fronts so that Pearse, Singh, Subeva, Chang, and Boustani could raise money for themselves. In fact, around $200 million from the $2 billion loan was pocketed by the conspirators and was also used to bribe other people into hiding the fraud.

According to Credit Suisse, the three ex-bankers intentionally disregarded the bank’s anti-fraud measures. They also hid their activities by using their personal e-mails during the transactions with the Mozambican companies.

US authorities did not file any charges against Credit Suisse. Nonetheless, the investment banking company promised to help with the investigation.

Currently, only Boustani is under US custody. Pearse, Singh, and Subeva are out on bail in London, while Chang has been detained in South Africa since his arrest in December last year. American authorities are still processing the transfer of the three ex-bankers and Chang to the United States.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Credit Suisse should be held responsible for the crime of its employees? Why or why not?
• How do you think the bank can prevent future attempts at fraud by employees?

Discussion B

• What do you think are some common reasons why people commit fraud? Discuss.
• In your opinion, how should people who commit fraud be punished?