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Mozambique police last weekend arrested two men on suspicion of being part of a kidnapping gang operating in Maputo and Gaza. The suspects are also charged with being implicated in the kidnapping of Portuguese-Mozambican hotel owner José Apolinário in the Bilene district on Tuesday.
He was set free only hours later.
The police said two other gang members were on the run, but that it was pursuing them.
According to the police in Maputo province, the gang kidnapped a woman and injured her husband in the Manhiça district last February, and kidnapped a businessman in the vicinity of the Maputo Shopping Supermarket in the central area of the country’s capital.
The gang used a vehicle, now confiscated, that was driven from Gaza to Maputo, and then returned to Gaza, where they hid it.
“They are part of the group of kidnappers,” Emídio Mabunda, a PRM spokesman in Maputo, told the press, pointing out that the operation was launched by the police and the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) of the city and provinces of Maputo and Gaza.
The two individuals are in jail since the weekend and the abduction of Jose Apolinario occurred on Tuesday.
However, Law and Order officials believe that they and the alleged accomplices still at large were the masterminds behind the abduction of José Apolinário, a crime which occurred when Apolinário was driving to his hotel establishment, called “Aquarius”, in the tourist area of Bilene Beach.
One of the detainees said in his own defense that was only guilty of lending his car to William Matusse, a friend and neighbour. It was not the first time he had done it, but he never asked what his friend needed the car for.
According to the man, the police arrested him at his house in Bilene because his vehicle was used in a kidnapping in the Manhiça district.
The other suspect claimed that his arrest took place in Maputo when he was in the company of a taxi driver friend, but the police dispute the defendant’s version, claiming that he had prepared the place where the victims were held captive.Source: A Verdade