Maputo — The Mozambican police say they rescued on Sunday an Indian businessman who had been kidnapped in Maputo the previous evening.
The businessman (who has not been named) was seized, together with a man claiming to be a friend, as they were leaving the casino in the Gloria Hotel, on the Maputo coast road, at about 03.00 on Saturday morning.
Three armed and masked men threw the friend out of their car, and drove the businessman to a house in the neighbourhood of Triunfo, where they tied him up and gagged him.
He told reporters from the independent television station STV that only at around 11.00 that morning did the kidnappers demand a ransom. They said they wanted 10 million meticais (about 167,000 US dollars) to release me, otherwise they would kill me, said the victim. I insisted I didn't have this money, and they began to beat me all over my body.
The kidnappers did not kill their victim, but kept him imprisoned until the following morning, when the police arrived and freed him.
The businessman's supposed friend had informed the police of the kidnapping, but only at 06.00 on Saturday, three hours after the event. The Maputo director of the Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC), Rainha Gamboa, sad the police were suspicious of the three hour gap.
After further interrogation, the friend confessed that he had lured the businessman into a trap, and led the police to the house in Triunfo. When they realised they had been discovered, the other members of the gang fled, leaving behind several guns.
Gamboa said the police are now on the trail of the kidnappers. The house in Triunfo, she added, had been rented last Friday, presumably for use as a private prison where the gang would hold its kidnap victims.