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Voa (File photo) / Zambezia police confirm two cases of kidnapping of bald persons for witchcraft and is currently investigating more complaints
A new phenomenon – the kidnapping of bald people for witchcraft organ trafficking – is worrying police in the Mozambican province of Zambézia, and has triggered a series of operations to counter the practice.
Republic of Mozambique Police confirmed at least two cases of the abduction of hereditary bald people – traditionally considered a sign of wealth – in Milange districts, and said they were investigating other cases.
“Bald people have been abducted and murdered. From one case we investigated, it appears the purpose of these abductions is superstitious practises, as is the case with albino people,” Zambezia police spokesman Miguel Caetano explained.
Caetano said a man was being held in prison for murdering a bald person for his organs, and an investigation was under way to identify the masterminds behind the crime.
“We have detained the material author, but we are still working on the investigation to arrest the person who ordered the crime. We are tracking people from Tanzania and Malawi,” Caetano said, citing the two countries considered the biggest customers of harvested organs, and adding that the police already have crucial information about the new phenomenon.
The new wave of kidnapping comes just months after a falling off in the numbers of albino abductions and murders. Concerns about their safety however remain.
The first abduction of a bald person in Zambézia was reported on Thursday, May 18, while the International Organisation for Migration and the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office were meeting in Cabo Delgado with experts from Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania to discuss the abduction of albinos.
Figures from the Mozambique Attorney General’s office indicate that in 2016 a total of 19 cases related to human trafficking were filed in Mozambique, seven of which involved people with albinism.
In 2015, of the 38 human trafficking cases handled by the Mozambican judicial system, 15 were related to albinos, and of these 10 were formally prosecuted, three were filed and two are still in court.
As with albinos, the abduction, persecution and murder of bald persons in Mozambique is motivated by beliefs and superstitions according to which body parts from these people can be a source of wealth.Source: Voa Portugues
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