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Mozambique issues int’l arrest warrant for suspected kidnapping kingpin

Mozambique’s Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) has issued an international arrest warrant for one of the country’s most notorious assassins Momad Assife Abdul Satar in connection with a wave of kidnappings that has shaken the southern African nation since 2011, APA learnt on Wednesday.Known in the underworld as “Nini”, Abdul Satar grabbed news headlines in 2000 when he allegedly ordered the murder of Mozambique’s most prominent journalist Carlos Cardoso before he was sentenced to 24 years and six months imprisonment.

He was released on parole in 2014 after serving just half his sentence on the ground that he had shown “good behaviour” while in Maputo’s top security prison.

Police and prosecutors, however, were convinced that, far from being a model inmate, Satar had been active from his prison cell in planning other crimes, including the kidnappings of business people.

The warrant of arrest was issued on Wednesday.

Satar was allowed to travel abroad in 2014, supposedly for medical treatment, although it was not stated what condition he suffered from which required treatment outside of Mozambique.

He was supposed to go to India, but the parolee never set foot in that country. Supposedly, he changed his mind and went to London instead.

The PGR, however, continued to investigate Satar’s connections with ongoing kidnappings in Mozambique and only went public about the probe after one of Satar’s alleged accomplices, Jose Aly Coutinho, was sprung from police custody in a spectacular escape in downtown Maputo on Monday.

In light of these findings, the PGR issued an international arrest warrant and asked the Maputo City Court to revoke Satar’s parole status.

A growing number of kidnappings for ransom which have targeted wealthy and middle-class families in Mozambique during the last two years.

Wealthy Muslims have been the main targets of the kidnappings, which began a few years ago. All those abducted were released after ransoms were paid.

The abductions are part of a wider crime wave targeting wealthy foreigners who have moved into Maputo on the back of a flood investment into the southern African nation’s vast coal and natural gas reserves.

Published on 28.04.2020

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