Maputo — Mozambique's National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) on Wednesday rescued kidnapped businessman Manish Cantilal, who had been held in captivity, in the southern city of Matola.
This was the second success for SERNIC in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday morning, SERNIC rescued another abducted businessman , Rizwan Adatia, from a house in Mulotana, in Boane district, where they arrested three alleged kidnappers.
One of them was a woman, named only as Priscila, who allegedly also took part in the kidnapping last November of Shelton Lalgy, son of the owner of the Lalgy transport company. The kidnappers released Shelton Lalgy in February, after payment of a ransom.
Adatia, who heads a Foundation set up in his name, and is manager of the Jumbo commercial group, was held prisoner for 21 days. According to SERNIC, the kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of five million US dollars, but gradually dropped their demand to 300,000 dollars. It is not yet clear whether they received anything at all.
Cantilal, one of the owners of the El Patron restaurant in Maputo, was held for 90 days. He told reporters that his captors had bound and tortured him. None of them were in the house when SERNIC arrived, which suggests they had been tipped off that the police were on the way.
According to SERNIC, one of those arrested in Boane told the police where Cantilal was being held.
The SERNIC director in Maputo, Benamina Chaves, cited in the Maputo daily "Noticias", said that a senior official in Maputo City Municipal Council (whom she did not name) was complicit with Adatia's kidnappers.
She claimed that this man "was responsible for following the victim and informing the kidnappers of his location. For this he received 50,000 meticais (about 725 dollars), of the 300,000 promised".