Maputo — Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, has announced that the Government is mobilizing resources in order to activate an anti-kidnapping brigade in the country.
Speaking in Maputo, on Saturday, at a ceremony marking Mozambican Heroes’ Day, the anniversary of the assassination of the founder and first President of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), Eduardo Mondlane, on 3 February 1969, Nyusi revealed that several groups of officers are being trained inside and outside the country to combat the kidnappings that have been plaguing the country since 2011, especially in Maputo and Beira.
“Diverse groups (to combat kidnappings) have been and continue to be formed outside and inside the country, and resources are being mobilized for their effective activation’, he said.
One of the obstacles facing the Mozambican authorities in the fight against kidnap gangs is the lack of adequate means to deal with the crime. Nyusi guaranteed that, for this reasons, “we are working within the framework of international cooperation in order to establish links for joint action in the fight against this evil associated with greed and corruption.’
“We are improving surveillance and patrol systems to prevent and combat kidnapping. We are also stepping up coordination with local structures and the general public in order to reinforce surveillance’, he added.
According to Nyusi, at the same time, the legal framework of the Mozambique Police (PRM) and the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) is being revised to adapt them to the challenges posed by organized and transnational crime.
“We are establishing a mechanism for collaboration with the national business sector as part of coordination with the private sector to prevent and combat this phenomenon’, he added.
In 2023, the police authorities recorded 13 kidnapping offences, seven of which were completed and six of which were thwarted by police action and collaboration with the communities.
Of the seven completed cases, six were cleared up and the victims were returned to their families, including three who were rescued from captivity as a result of police investigations and interventions, claimed the President.
In connection with these cases, 38 suspects were arrested, including three South Africans and 35 Mozambicans. Three pistols, 26 rounds of ammunition, four vehicles and six mobile phones were also seized, and two private prisons set up by kidnappers in residential areas were dismantled.
“This evil must not appear in our country, which is why we need everyone’s co-operation, including the families of those affected’, he said.