Interpol to probe drugs in Moz

2010-07-14 21:21

Maputo - International police organisation Interpol will investigate drug trafficking in Mozambique, its secretary-general told media in the country's capital on Tuesday.

"We know that drugs from South America are increasingly transported to Europe via the African continent," Ronald Noble was quoted as saying by the Noticias newspaper.

"We are interested in knowing which transnational criminal groups have been using Mozambique as a corridor for this purpose. That is why we are going to create (a) working group together."

Noble spoke to reporters after meeting with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.

A technical team would visit the country in two weeks to plan a course of action with government representatives.

Richest man

His visit came barely a month after US president Barack Obama designated one of Mozambique's most influential businessmen a drug kingpin.

The US had "extensive proof" that Mohamed Bachir Suleman was involved in trafficking heroin from southeast Asia, as well as cocaine and marijuana from Latin America to South Africa and Europe, Adam Szubin, the US director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control said at the time.

Mozambican Interior Minister Jose Pacheco later said the United States so far had not given Mozambique any proof of its allegations.

Known as a friend of President Guebuza and the richest man in Mozambique, Suleman donated $800 000 to the ruling party, Frelimo, ahead of the country's presidential elections in November 2009.

Suleman also attended the presidential reception during Mozambique's independence festivities at the end of June.