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Police in Dondo District, Sofala province, have detained three citizens and seized a lorry of rails cut from the Machipanda line.
The three men are allegedly part of a group that specialised in railroad vandalisation, Miramar reports. The steel cut from the Machipanda railway line was destined for sale to Dondo’s scrap yards and clandestine smelters.
Eight individuals were reputedly involved in routine theft of Mozambique Railway Company property, police say.
Acting on a tip-off, police chased the group, successfully catching three. The other five escaped.
The driver of the truck carrying the rails said he was not part of the group, and had only rented his vehicle out for transport, adding that he did not know at the time that the cargo was railway rails, and that he charged 25,000 meticais for his services.
Another of those detained said he was simply hired to help load the rails into the vehicle, a job for which he was to be paid 500 meticais.
A source from CFM, who was unwilling to record an interview, said he feared the constant vandalising of CFM property, which had already caused incalculable damage, could one day lead to a full train derailment.
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