21 December 2012

Mozambique: Guebuza Urges Migrants to Avoid Drug Trafficking

Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Friday urged all Mozambicans living abroad to distance themselves from, and to denounce, all illicit activities, notably drug trafficking, because they damage the country’s image.

He was speaking to representatives of 135 associations of Mozambicans living in various countries who had come to present Xmas and New Year greetings to the head of state.

Guebuza said he had followed with pride the positive reports from Mozambican diplomatic missions and from the authorities of the countries where Mozambican emigrants live. These indicate that Mozambicans are exemplary citizens who comply with the laws if their host countries.

But there was a worrying phenomenon that could destroy the good name of Mozambique. “I am referring to cases of some of our compatriots who have been caught smuggling drugs or are involved in other illicit activities”, Guebuza said.

Two such cases have been reported recently. In November the Indian police arrested a 25 year old Mozambican citizen, named as Pedro Jose Salvador, in Bangalore. He was in possession of 100 grams of cocaine, according to a report carried by the news agency, the Press Trust of India (PTI).

On 14 October, a Mozambican woman named Monica Novela was arrested at Phuket International Airport in Thailand, in possession of six kilos of methamphetamine (better known as “crystal meth”). The Mozambican government has requested the Thai authorities to show clemency, and spare Novela the death penalty, which is frequently applied to drug traffickers in south-east Asia.

The government, Guebuza said, condemns such practices, and urges all Mozambicans in the diaspora to strengthen their vigilance against offenders, and to collaborate with their diplomatic missions and with the authorities to identify “your fellow citizens who want to besmirch the good name of Mozambique”.

“Mozambicans may be poor, but they should be able to behave with dignity”, he added. “We would like to appeal to any of our fellow countrymen, who may be thinking of joining these criminal networks to drop such plans”.

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