ARMY DESERTER ARRESTED FOR ROBBERIES AND MURDERS
Maputo, 12 Jan (AIM) – Mozambique’s Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) has arrested a deserter from the armed forces (FADM) in the central city of Chimoio, for alleged involvement in robberies and the murder of motorcycle taxi drivers.
According to a report in Thursday’s issue of the independent daily “O País”, the man (who has not been named) deserted in the district of Macomia, where he was part of an FADM unit in the fight against terrorism that has been plaguing parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, since 2017.
“I have robbed a taxi driver, but I didn’t kill him. I also have robbed a Nigerian and stolen 18,000 meticais (282 dollars, at the current exchange rate) and eight chickens”, the suspect confessed. He added that he deserted from the army with the objective of forming a criminal group that would dedicate itself to robbing businessmen and motorcycle taxi drivers.
The man was found with an AK-47 assault rifle, four ammunition clips. 100 bullets, and military uniforms. These materials were immediately seized.
According to the Sernic spokesperson in Manica, Paulo Tapua, there is no doubt that this individual led the group that has been robbing and killing motorcycle taxi drivers in Chimoio.
“The last robbery occurred in the Vila Nova neighbourhood, in Chimoio. This individual and his accomplices took possession of a motorcycle and then killed the owner”, Tapua said.
According to the Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Association in Manica, last year alone 25 motorcycle taxi drivers were murdered in Chimoio.
The Association said the murderers present themselves as passengers. Some even request services with bottles of fuel and claim that they intend to rescue someone in a remote area, “but their real purpose is to rob and kill the drivers”.