Maputo — Mozambique's National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) on Wednesday presented to reporters in Maputo two Angolan citizens accused of involvement in the crime of counterfeiting US dollars.
The SERNIC Maputo spokesperson, Hilario Lole, said the authorities seized 16,000 dollars which all turned out to be counterfeit. They believed the fake dollars were part of a transnational network involving Mozambican, Angolan and South African citizens who counterfeit several currencies.
"Legal procedures are underway for their criminal accountability but also to issue arrest warrants for the remaining members of the gang still on the run," Lole said. He added that the crime ring had been also involved in failed attempts to forge the Mozambican currency, the metical.
The accused denied any involvement in counterfeiting currency and claimed to know nothing about the reasons that led to their arrest in Mozambique.
"I am a businessman and I entered Mozambique legally. I have been here for the past two months looking for business opportunities. I do not know why I have been arrested," said one of the Angolans, who is 42 years old.
SERNIC also presented three other people, including a police officer, following an attempt to extort money from the driver of a fuel tanker, who had been driving along the streets of Maputo in the early hours of the morning. The country is observing a curfew every night, running from 22.00 to 04.00.