Mozambique: Police Commander Accused of Leading Criminal Gang

Maputo — Mozambique's Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) in the northern province of Niassa on Wednesday interrogated Manuel Bacar, the former police commander in Marrupa district, about his alleged ties to criminals, reports Thursday's issue of the independent newssheet "Mediafax".

Bacar is accused of heading a gang of armed robbers, who used to operate in several areas of Niassa. The gang supposedly consisted of five members, all of them policemen. Their main modus operandi was to ambush vehicles on some of the main roads in the province, such as the stretches linking Marrupa to Maua and Mecula districts, and, more recently, the road from Marrupa to Balama in the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado.

Passenger vehicles were the main targets for these ambushes. The gang stopped the buses or minibuses and stole valuables from the passengers. In one recent ambush, believed to be the work of this gang, the vehicle's driver was murdered.

The Sernic Niassa spokesperson, Inacio Rafael, declined to go into detail about the interrogation, but said the investigation is intended to discover the degree of criminal involvement of each of the alleged gang members.

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