10 February 2012

Mozambique: Another Kidnap in Maputo

Photo: stock.xchng
A handgun and bullets.

Maputo — The wave of kidnappings of Asian citizens in Maputo continued on Wednesday night when a woman, whose name has not so far been made public, was abducted at the crossroads between Amilcar Cabral and Mao Tse-tung Avenues in the heart of the city.

According to the police, the kidnap occurred when the car in which the victim and her husband were travelling stopped at a set of traffic lights. At that moment, another car simulated an accident and struck the rear of the couple's vehicle.

While the two drivers were discussing the accident, four men jumped out of the second vehicle, seized the woman and forced her to enter their car, which then sped off.

This time, unlike in previous kidnaps, the husband immediately alerted the police - the kidnapping occurred almost in front of a police station.

Although she has not been named, it is known that the victim is the wife of one of the managers of the company Delta Trading.

The spokesperson for the Maputo City police command, Arnaldo Chefo, assured reporters that the police are working head to track down the kidnappers. He urged members of the public to cooperate with the police by providing any information which might lead to the criminals.

This case may be linked with the abduction on 30 January of two businessmen at Maputo's Lhanguene Cemetery. They were released this week, but it is not yet clear whether their families paid the two million US dollar ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

Meanwhile a source in the Interior Ministry, cited in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", confirmed that two convicted assassins, Momad Assife Abdul Satar ("Nini") and Vicente Ramaya, were transferred on Monday from the Maputo top security prison to the cells in the City Police Command because of strong suspicions that they are involved in the wave of kidnaps.

Satar and Ramaya are serving long sentences for ordering the assassination of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso in November 2000, and for swindling the Commercial Bank of Mozambique (BCM) out of the equivalent of 14 million US dollars.

Although prisoners are not allowed access to modern means of communication, cell phones have regularly been smuggled into the top security prison, which Satar and Ramaya may have used to continue their criminal activities.

The police suspect that the signs of wealth displayed by their relatives, may originate from the ransom money paid to secure the release of the kidnap victims.

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