Maputo, 4 Mar (AIM) – The court in Thembisa, in the South African province of Gauteng, has legalized the detention of Esmael Maulide Nangy, a Mozambican suspected of masterminding kidnappings in Mozambique and South Africa.
The Mozambican legal authorities have accused him of kidnapping, money-laundering and criminal conspiracy.
A statement issued on Friday by the Central Office for the Fight against Organised and Transnational Crime (GCCCOT) said that a request is now under way to ensure that Nangy is extradited to Mozambique.
In a separate case, the GCCCOT has charged four people, currently being held in preventive detention, with kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and money laundering, and has sent the case to the Maputo City Court.
The four suspects, who were not named in the statement, were detained following the investigation of a kidnapping that occurred in June 2022, when a Mozambican businessman was abducted in the Maputo neighbourhood of Polana Canico
The victim was kidnapped on his way to a mosque near his home. He was dragged into the kidnappers’ vehicle, a blue Honda Fit, and driven away into captivity. A second vehicle, a white Toyota Ractis, was on hand, which the kidnappers would have used, if they had failed to bundle their victim into the Honda.
The GCCCOT says that both vehicles have now been seized, from a house in the central Maputo neighbourhood of Coop. The house had been rented by the criminals a few days before the kidnapping.
They also rented a house in Nkobe, in the neighbouring city of Matola, to be used as an alternative private jail, should the police detect the house in Coop.
The GCCCOT declared that it is counting on “the collaboration of all actors in society in preventing and fighting against kidnappings, an evil which is damaging the social fabric, and endangering the development and image of the country”.
But these developments have not brought the wave of kidnappings to an end. According to a report on the independent television station STV, a citizen of Asian origin was abducted at about 20.00 on Friday night. The police have confirmed the crime, but given no details.
Reports on social media say that the victim is named Firoz Jorge, and that he owns a shoe shop. He was accompanied by a man named only as Ibrahim, who was shot during the kidnapping.