Mozambique: Drug Trafficker Sent Back to Brazil

Cocaine (file photo).

Maputo — The Mozambican authorities on Sunday expelled from the country the Brazilian drug trafficker Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos (better known as "Fuminho").

He had been wanted by the Brazilian police and by Interpol since 1999 (after his escape from a Brazilian prison on 12 January that year). He was detained last Monday, in a Maputo hotel, in an operation coordinated by the Mozambican Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC).

According to a report in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", Fuminho was handed over to Brazilian officers, at Maputo's Mavalane air base, at about 01.30 on Sunday morning.

An aircraft of the Brazilian Air force was waiting for him, and shortly afterwards flew him to a prison cell in Brazil.

Less than a week had passed since his arrest. Technically, he was not extradited, but "administratively expelled".

According to a note from Interior Minister Amade Miquidade, the grounds for "administrative expulsion" were that he had entered the country illegally. He was travelling on a false passport.

So the time consuming procedures inherent to extradition were waived, and Fuminho was simply handed over to the Brazilians.

Miquidade's note added that Fuminho is barred from entering Mozambique again "for a period of not less than ten years" - although he is likely to spend much longer than that in a Brazilian jail.

Fuminho could have been put on trial in Mozambique, not only because of the false passport, bet because he was in possession of illegal drugs (100 grams of cannabis) when arrested. He was also carrying no less than 15 mobile phones.

No trial means no interrogation, and no chance to persuade Fuminho to spill the beans about his accomplices in Mozambique and the rest of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region.

On the other hand, a speedy removal of the drug baron to Brazil, means that there will be no attempt to break him out of his Mozambican jail. This possibility was not negligible given the long history of escapes from Mozambican prisons.

One source told "Carta de Mocambique" that the plan to expel Fuminho was drawn up by the director of SERNIC and Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili, with the assistance of the Brazilian ambassador and the United States Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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