31 December 2015

Mozambique: Maputo Imam Under Investigation

Maputo — A prominent leader of the Maputo moslem community, Nazir Lunat, is under investigation in connection with last week's attempt to smuggle the equivalent of 7.3 million US dollars in banknotes from Mozambique to South Africa, reports Thursday's issue of the independent weekly “Savana”.

The money was hidden in a false compartment in the back of a Toyota Hilux. On Christmas Day, the South African police stopped and searched the car at the Lebombo border post. They arrested, on suspicion of money-laundering, the two Mozambican citizens travelling in the car.

They have been named as 50 year old Assane Momad and 37 year old Abdul Ahmed.

The South African police swooped because they received an anonymous tip-off, which “Savana” surmises must have come from a rival group inside Mozambique.

Assane Momad is the brother-in-law of Nazir Lunat, who is the imam at the Masjid Taqwa mosque on Eduardo Mondlane Avenue in central Maputo. This is a mosque much frequented by citizens of Pakistani origin.

When “Savana” approached Lunat on Wednesday, he refused to make any comment on the matter. Even when the paper insisted, all that Lunat would say was “No. I prefer not to speak about the subject”.

The money was counted by officials of Standard Bank, a task which took about five hours, and it was then deposited in a branch of Standard Bank.

According to a Mozambican jurist cited by “Savana”, the money will revert to the South African state, if it is proven to result from criminal activity.

“If it is the product of a legal activity, then the owner must prove it, and explain why he did not use legally accepted procedures, such as depositing it in a Mozambican bank, and then using a bank transfer to move it”, the jurist added.

The very fact that Momad and Ahmed hid the money is a concealed compartment in their vehicle is a strong indication that it was the fruit of crime.

The Mozambican police have sent two senior officers to assist the South Africans in the investigations. Fears have been expressed in South Africa that the money may have been intended to finance the terrorist activities of the self-styled “Islamic State”.

Momad and Ahmed are currently in detention in a police station in the South African town of Komatipoort. They are due to appear in court in Barberton next Monday, when a judge will decide whether to keep them in jail pending their trial, or to release them on bail.


Belief in Vampires Leads to Rioting in Zambezia

Rumours of vampirism have led to violent disturbances in the town of Gile, in the central Mozambican province of… Read more »

Copyright © 2015 Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.