Police in Mozambique have announced the arrest at Maputo airport of two persons, a Malawian and a Malian national, each of whom was carrying more than 60,0000 dollars in cash, and about to board a flight out of the country, APA can report.The Malawian national, Aroca Assaca, possessed $63,300 in cash, and the Malian national, who was identified as Saka, carried US$64,000 in cash.
Private Television Stv quoted the commander of the police unit at Maputo International Airport, Stelio Langa, as saying Assaca’s money was found hidden in one of his suitcases, wrapped in clothing.
According to the airport official, Mozambican exchange regulations state that the maximum that can be taken out of the country in cash without being declared to the authorities is 5,000 dollars, or the equivalent in other currencies.
“Assaca is a trader who lives in central Maputo and he was arrested as he was about to board a flight of Ethiopian Airways, but his final destination was Pakistan.”
Langa said the origins of the money are now being investigated. He said the notes will be taken to the Bank of Mozambique for authentication, as it is suspected that this was a money laundering operation.
Early on Friday, security officials at Maputo airport made another arrest, this time the Malian national, who also possessed an undeclared US$64,000 in cash, and was about to board a flight to Ethiopia en route to Thailand.
Langa said the amount was hidden in the middle of Saka’s luggage. The senior police officer added that he will be investigated to ascertain the legitimacy and origins of the money.
The suspect, only named as Saka, is reported to be an informal trader and has lived in Maputo for more than five years. He was barred from traveling until the outcome of the investigations. He told the authorities that he was going to Bangkok to goods for re-sell at a Mozambique shop, and was to have a stop-over in Ethiopia.
Langa said the police are investigating the origins of the money, and that if it turns out that the money came from legal business dealings, then it will be returned to the Malian, who will have to pay a fine for violating Mozambican exchange control regulations.
These state that no traveller may carry more than $5,000 or the equivalent in currencies out of the country in cash.