4 September 2012

Mozambique: Police Promise to Detain Those Responsible for Kidnaps

Maputo — The Mozambican police declared on Tuesday that it is committed to working, in collaboration with the community, to identify and detain those responsible for the wave of kidnappings that have shocked the country in recent months.

Speaking to reporters at the weekly police press briefing, Raul Freia, spokesperson for the General Command of the police, said that the detention last Friday of five people in connection with the kidnappings "provides new elements for the investigation".

It was thanks to police investigation and cooperation from the community, he said, that the arrests were made in the neighbourhood of Kongolote, in the southern city of Matola.

The five arrested, who include two women, are believed to have carried out the latest in the series of kidnappings.

A sixth man, Orquilio Nhassengo, believed to be the leader of the group, was shot dead during the police raid. Freia said that he had offered resistance, and tried to seize a gun from one of the policemen. He died as he was being driven to hospital.

Asked whether the men arrested had provided information that might lead to the detention of those who are ordering the kidnappings, Freia said that, whenever there are new arrests, fresh information comes to light "but we can't announce it".

"The efforts and interest of the police, and indeed of the entire community, is to arrest all those involved", he said. "But the police cannot reveal the steps we are taking to clear up this sort of crime".

"The police can only divulge the results after the end of the work", Freia added, promising that "at the due time" all the information about the case would be made public.

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