Businessman Kidnapped In Matola
Maputo, 16 Dec (AIM) – Unknown assailants on Wednesday kidnapped a prominent businessman, Hayyum Alimamade, at gunpoint in front of his family and his business premises in the southern Mozambican city of Matola.
He owns a shopping centre in Matola, the Kids R Us chain in Maputo, and popular ice cream parlours, Vanilla Gelado, in Matola and Maputo. The kidnapping, which only lasted for about 30 seconds, took place in broad daylight, and was caught on several security cameras, according to a report from the Zitamar News Service. These films have been posted by the Beira “Anti-Raptos” (“Anti-Kidnapping”) group on its Facebook page.
The kidnappings have become big business. According to the Deputy Chairperson of the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), Prakash Prehlad, so far this year the kidnap gangs have extorted 35 million dollars from their victims and their families.
Speaking in Maputo last week at a workshop on money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Prahlad pointed out that the 35 million will be moved out of Mozambique through money laundering. Nobody knows how much of it will end up financing the islamist terrorists in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
The kidnappings have been going on since 2011. The targets are usually business people of Asian origin in Maputo, Matola and Beira.
Some business people have given up on Mozambique, largely because of the kidnappings, and are moving their money elsewhere.
One example is Carlos Camurdine, who was abducted outside his wine store in central Maputo in April 2019 by three men armed with AK-47 assault rifles and held for two months until a ransom was paid. In June 2022 he bought the Fontecruz Lisboa Hotel, on Avenida da Liberdade, in the heart of the Portuguese capital, for 42 million euros, and is believed to be moving his business interests there.