6 January 2013

Mozambique: Ransom Paid for Pakistani Kidnap Victims

Maputo — A Pakistani family in the northern Mozambican city of Nampula has paid a ransom of more than two million meticais (about 68,000 US dollars) for the safe return of a woman kidnapped on Thursday, according to a report in the Beira daily paper "Diario de Mocambique".

The victim, Sumaia Ibrahim, is the wife of Moshin Iqbal, owner of the Nampula "Oasis" bakery and cakeshop. She was abducted at about 18.40 on Thursday, as she was leaving the bakery. She was seized by two armed men who bundled her into a car parked nearby.

Several hours later, her family was contacted through Sumaia's cellphone. The kidnappers demanded ten million meticais for the return of Sumaia.

According to the Nampula provincial police spokesperson, Inacio Dina, the family then negotiated with the kidnappers, since they could not pay the initial ransom demanded. The family asked the police not to intervene, because the kidnappers had threatened to kill Sumaia, if there was any police involvement.

Phone contacts between the family and the kidnappers went on during Thursday night, with several changes in the place where the ransom money was to be left. Once the kidnappers had collected the money and counted it, they released their victim at a Nampula petrol station.

Dina was critical of the family for failing to keep the police informed. They had told the police of the kidnap, but during the Thursday night negotiations they made no further contact, and only spoke with the police again after Sumaia's release.

The pattern of the kidnapping is similar to that of other abductions both in Nampula and in Maputo, in that the police were largely kept out of the loop.

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