Mozambique: Thieves Strike in Broad Daylight in Beira

Maputo — A group of gunmen on Friday attacked a shop selling frozen chickens and eggs, belonging to the company Abilio Antunes, in the Beira neighbourhood of Maquinino, and stole four million meticais (about 133,000 US dollars), according to a report in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.

Clients who were in the shop were forced to lie down while the thieves stole their money, purses and cell phones.

The raid was brazen, occurring in broad daylight, at about 11.00, a few metres from the Maquinino police station, and shortly after the police in Sofala province had announced that they are stepping up public security, ahead of the festive season.

Eye-witnesses aid that there were at least five members of the gang, who entered the shop and quickly immobilised the security guards and the customers. After the robbery they sped off in their getaway car to an unknown destination.

A representative of Abilio Antunes, Bernardo Emilio, said that the four million meticais stolen came from the sale of 1,500 boxes of eggs, and 13,000 frozen chickens.

“They came in through the gate, they pointed their guns at everybody and obliged people to lie on the floor”, said Emilio. “Everybody was afraid and nobody moved. They then stole what there was to steal, got in their car and left”.

He was worried about what might happen nearer to Xmas. “We’re not yet in the festive period, but the bandits are operating by day. What’s it going to be like when the holidays are upon us and everyone needs money for the festivities?”, he asked.

The Maquinino shop is the main retailer of chickens and eggs in Beira.

Despite the robbery, Emilio declared that the shop will continue to sell chickens.

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