Mozambique kidnap ring targets business

2012-02-07 22:29

Maputo - Ten Mozambican business people have been abducted since October by what police believe is a specialised kidnapping syndicate, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday after a suspect was arrested.

The arrest of the 25-year-old man for the January 28 kidnapping of a woman in the capital, Maputo, "is the culmination of a process initiated in January following the abduction cases", national police spokesperson Pedro Cossa told journalists.

"With the arrest hopefully he will be co-operative with respect to these cases we have followed in recent times," he added.

The arrest follows the recent kidnapping of two businessmen from the central port city of Beira who were seized by four men while visiting a cemetery.

Their kidnappers initially asked for a ransom of one million dollars, then doubled the demand.

Police say 10 Mozambicans of South Asian origin have been kidnapped since October, and 15 in the last two years. The victims have mainly been wealthy Hindu and Muslim business people.

Cossa said the victims' families had received threats warning them not to report the abductions nor co-operate with police.

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