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Five individuals – three Somalis and two Kenyans – are being held by police in the city of Beira, Sofala province, on suspicion of recruiting people to join terrorist groups in Cabo Delgado, Notícias reports.
According to National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) spokesman Alfeu Sitoe, the group is allegedly led by a Somali called Ahmed Agjar, currently being held at the 7th Police Station in the city’s Manga neighbourhood on charges of trafficking in persons and drugs, aiding illegal migration, use and falsification of documents, and terrorism.
Sitoe said that the other four individuals, including one woman, are under police custody in the 3rd, 5th and 6th police precincts, also over alleged involvement in the same crimes.
The SERNIC spokesman revealed that the operation resulted in the seizure of four travel documents, 11 passports, (six Kenyan and five Somali), four identity cards of the two nationalities, and 13 Mozambique asylum application forms.
Sitoe said it was thought that the seized documents were false, and analysis to verify their authenticity was still to be carried out. But in order for them be to obtained, Sitoe added, there would have to have been some collaboration with officials of the national institutions issuing them.
During the operation, 141 grams of fresh green leaves, believed to be a narcotic drug called ‘quaad’ or ‘mira’, and three machetes were also seized.
A burgundy Honda ‘Freed’, registration AKH 311 MC, was also apprehended. It is assumed that the car was used to transport recruits both into and out of the country.
Sitoe said that the five individuals were arrested under search, arrest and seizure warrants issued by the Judicial Court of the province after the authorities received information that a group of foreigners thought to be involved in criminal activities was living in the Ponta Gea neighbourhood.
He added that, due to the nature of the above mentioned crimes, it was necessary to carry out the raid with a team from the Defence and Security Forces (FDS), made up of elements from the PRM, the National Migration Service (SENAMI) and the State Intelligence and Security Service (SISE).
The PRM spokesman said steps were underway to assess the degree of involvement of each of the detainees and their facilitators, so that they all be held properly accountable.
Sofala Migration Service spokesman Francisco Chambale said it was worrying that the individuals had managed to enter the country without complying with the necessary formalities.