Mozambique’s deputy finance minister sacked

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Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has sacked the deputy finance minister, who has been implicated in a scandal over alleged fraudulent government loans totalling $2bn (£1.75bn).

A statement from the presidency did not give a reason for Maria Isaltina Lucas’s sacking.

But she is one of 17 suspects named by the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office in connection with the “hidden debts” scandal.

This refers to three companies which were given loans, guaranteed by the government.

All three companies are effectively bankrupt, and so the Mozambican state has become liable for repaying the loans.

At the time that the guarantees were made, Ms Lucas was the head of the treasury, which gave the go-ahead for the guarantees.

Ms Lucas has not commented.

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