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File photo: MMO
Twelve individuals. reportedly Malawian nationals, were arrested for alleged “rental” of Mozambican identity cards in the district of Mandimba, in the province of Niassa, last week, and are currently being held at the Ngauma police station.
According to spokesman for the National Directorate of Civil Identification (DNIC), Alberto Sumbana, the ID documents presented by the individuals belong to Mozambican citizens residing in Niassa.
The detainees were travelling to South Africa on the bus of an unidentified carrier when they were stopped at the checkpoint in Mandimba, where they presented ID and voter cards.
The police checking the documents concluded that the photos on the ID cards did not match the appearance of their respective holders and detained them immediately.
Of the 12 detainees – 10 male, and two female – four insist that they are Mozambican nationals.
The DNIC spokesman explained that ‘renting’ ID cards is a new phenomenon, and that investigations are currently underway to locate the real owners of the ID document and find out for how much they rented them out. ID cards are personal and non-transferable documents, and the true owners risk being prosecuted for committing a crime.
Sumbana however admitted that many Mozambicans have not collected their old-issue ID cards, some 200,000 of which have not been picked up, their owners preferring to move straight to the new-issue variety. Sumbana explained that, while they remain unexpired, the old ID cards are still technically in use, and urged their owners to go to the DNIC and collect them.
By Marta AfonsoSource: Carta de Moçambique
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