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A prominent Mozambican businessman, of Asian origin, escaped a kidnap attempt on Monday night, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.
Gulam Rassul is the owner of the Tiger Shopping Centre in central Maputo, a large shop which sells household appliances and electrical goods. After closing the shop, at about 21.00, he and his sons were ambushed in the basement by four masked men, carrying AK47 assault rifles.
The businessman and his sons lay on the ground, and the would-be kidnappers pointed their weapons at them. But the attempted abduction was spotted by other residents who also keep their cars in the Tiger Centre’s basement. The cries for help apparently alarmed the criminals, who gave up and ran for their getaway car.
The four men were caught on the Tiger Centre surveillance cameras, but the images, shown on STV, were too blurred to make any identification possible.
Paulo Nazare of the Maputo City Police Command told reporters on Tuesday that the police had been informed of the attempted kidnapping “and measures are under way to bring the culprits to trial”.
The Tiger Shopping Centre is in the heart of the city, just a few minutes walk away from both the Maputo Police Command and the Ministry of the Interior.
This was Rassul’s second escape from a kidnap gang. The first failed abduction was at his house, in 2014.
Kidnappings, particularly of business people of Asian origin, have been occurring regularly in Mozambican cities since 2011. Some kidnappers have been arrested, tried and sentenced to long prison terms, but the men who select the targets and order the kidnappings have mostly escaped arrest.Source: AIM