Mozambique: Son of Prominent Businessman Kidnapped

Maputo — Unidentified assailants on Sunday afternoon kidnapped the son of a prominent businessman in the heart of Maputo, reports Monday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".

The victim, Kaushal Pandia, is the son of Kishool Chootalal, who owns Casa Pandia, a well-known shop selling cotton fabrics in downtown Maputo. The kidnapping occurred at the crossroads between Emilia Dausse and Vladimir Lenine avenues.

Pandia had left his car parked at the crossroads,while he took lunch at a restaurant in the Dona Berta garden on Vladimir Lenine Avenue. Moments after he left the restaurant, he was intercepted by three armed men, who fired into the air, before immobilising their victim and dragging him over to their car.

The crime occurred a few metres from a police driving school. However, since it was a Sunday, the building was closed.

The police say they are investigating the case, and a police spokesperson cited by "O Pais" admitted that the crime "draws attention to the need for us to increase our patrolling, vigilance and physical presence on the ground as a public authority".

In late May, the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) was successful in releasing two businessmen who had been kidnapped, Manish Kantilal and Rizwan Adatia. Three alleged kidnappers were arrested. But clearly this success has not stopped the operations of the kidnap gangs.

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