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A captain in the Mozambican armed forced (FADM) has been detained in the northern city of Nampula in connection with the theft of thousands of rounds of ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”.
The captain, 61 year old Stambul Chaibo, was deputy head of armament at the Samora Machel Military Academy in Nampula. According to a release from the military justice and discipline section of the Academy, sent to the military justice department of the FADM General Staff, 2,040 AK-47 bullets went missing over an unspecified period of time from a warehouse in the Academy’s armoury.
The preliminary investigation into the theft concluded that Chaibo had sold all the ammunition to a man named Pedro Lucas, from the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado. Each bullet was sold for 12 meticais, meaning that Chaibo made 24,480 meticais (about 400 US dollars) from the transaction.
Since Mocimboa da Praia district, the site of the abortive islamist uprising last October, is in Cabo Delgado, there may well have been fears that the stolen ammunition was intended for the insurgents.
Attempts by “Mediafax” to obtain more information from the FADM and from the Nampula police command drew a blank. The police say they know nothing of the case, although the FADM document cited by the paper said that Chaibo had been incarcerated in Nampula Civil Prison since 30 March.
Chaibo’s wife has submitted a complaint to the police about the “disappearance” of her husband.
The electronic paper “A Verdade” gives a completely different, and much more sinister, account. It cites Chaibo’s wife as saying that he was kidnapped on the night of 30 March near his home by three armed men. The paper says that several days later his lifeless body was found under a nearby abandoned truck.