Maputo — Mozambique's National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) on Tuesday night arrested three people suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Portuguese citizen Jose Caetano.
According to the Maputo daily "Noticias", last Friday Caetano was contacted by somebody who invited him to view some earthmoving equipment. He left with this person and never returned.
His body was found in an abandoned quarry in Moamba, about 60 kilometres northwest of Maputo, on Saturday. There were wounds on his neck indicating that he had been attacked with a sharp instrument.
After Caetano had disappeared, the kidnappers contacted his family and demanded a ransom. Unaware that Caetano was already dead, the family handed over 900,000 meticais (about 14,750 US dollars) and the victim's BMW car.
SERNIC's investigations led to the arrests of the three suspects and the recovery of the BMW, which had been hidden in Massinga district, in the southern province of Inhambane. Of the three suspects, one has confessed to the crime.
SERNIC seized from one of the suspects a minibus, which had been purchased with part of the 900,000 meticais paid in ransom. SERNIC also seized two mobile phones which were identified as belonging to Caetano.
SERNIC says it has been following this gang for some time. It was dedicated to kidnapping and car theft in Maputo province. It is suspected of responsibility for two earlier kidnappings in 2017, in which the victims were a South African and a Turkish citizen.