Four dead as Angolan police move against foreign diamond smugglers

2018-10-06 11:10
Diamond (iStock)

Diamond (iStock)

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Four people were killed and seven injured in northeastern Angola on the margins of a police operation targeting foreign nationals suspected of diamond smuggling, media said on Friday.

The violence erupted as police rounded up "illegal aliens" and seized around 3 000 diamonds, 150 vehicles and over $80 000 in cash.

Three Angolans were hacked to death with machetes by foreign nationals they had accused of smuggling and an Angolan was shot dead, the local TPA television said.

The incidents took place on Thursday evening and Friday in the Lunda Norte province bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Many foreigners who engage in illegal activities in the country result in enormous sums of money coming into circulation.... This situation cannot be tolerated in an orderly country," said police spokesperson Antonio Bernado.

The president of the protectorate Lunda Tchokwes confirmed the death toll.

Officers arrested around 800 people as part of the operation including Congolese, Lebanese, Malians and Nigerians, Bernardo said.

Repatriation of those arrested from Democratic Republic of Congo had already started while others would be transferred to Luanda and then deported to their home countries, he added.

According to Bernardo, Angola which has a population of around 28 million is home to three million foreign nationals, about half of whom live illegally in the country.

Provincial government spokesperson Armando Cipema said police had targeted "illegal aliens in the country, especially in houses bought with diamonds".

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Read more on:    angola  |  drc  |  nigeria  |  southern africa

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