Maputo — The Mozambican police believe that the last two kidnappings in Maputo (one of which was abortive) are an attempt to show that the 11 people detained in July are innocent, and thus throw the police off the track, according to the spokesperson for the police General Command, Pedro Cossa.
He dismissed the people who tried to kidnap Asslam Rassul, owner of a major Maputo store selling electrical goods, on Friday as "amateurs".
This aborted kidnapping, plus the abduction of Bilal Wassim, son of the owner of another Maputo shop, were attempts to discredit the work of the police, he claimed. They were just another tactic of the people who gave instructions to the kidnap gang.
"The last two cases in Maputo are part of the war tactics of this gang - to make a noise in the north while attacking in the south", he claimed. "They want to throw us off the trail and have us believe that those people now in detention have nothing to do with the kidnappings. They're just trying to divert us from our investigations".
Cossa declined to say anything about the police hunt for the masterminds behind the kidnappings and the huge ransoms extorted from the victims' families. In due time, more precise information would be given, he promised.
"I guarantee that everything is being done so that everybody involved in these crimes is arrested", he said.
Meanwhile, the independent television station STV reported an abortive assault on the central Maputo home of another businessman of Asian origin on Tuesday afternoon, which may have been an attempted kidnapping.
Two men showed up at the house claiming they had parcels for the owner. However, when domestic servants realised that the "parcels" actually contained AK-47 assault rifles, they alerted their employers who swiftly contacted the police.
Unable to enter the house, the two men fled. The police arrived shortly afterwards, and combed the area for the two men without success.
Maputo city police spokesman Arnaldo Chefo said the intentions of the two armed men were not clear - but he accepted that the incident might have been an attempted abduction.