Search

 

Cablegate: Mozambique Police Targeted by Organized Crime,

VZCZCXRO4358
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #1286/01 3591000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241000Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9744
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 1704
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 6175
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 0489

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001286

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR, DS/T/ATA, DS/IP/ITA, DS/IP/AF
PRETORIA FOR LEGAT, DEA, USSS, ICE
GABORONE FOR ILEA
CAPE TOWN FOR ALEGAT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC SNAR MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE POLICE TARGETED BY ORGANIZED CRIME,
MORE VIOLENCE

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Several high profile shootings of members
of the Mozambican police (PRM) and a spree of violent crime
suggest that criminal elements have infiltrated Mozambican
law enforcement. Armed attacks within Maputo appear more
brazen by the day. Mozambique,s most notorious criminal,
Anibal "Anibalzinho" dos Santos Jr has escaped from prison
for the third time, and despite police assurances of a
recapture, his whereabouts remain unconfirmed. The Inspector
General of Police made recent statements to the press stating
that senior PRM leadership were involved in Anibalzinho,s
escape, and stated that he feared for his life. The domestic
threat of organized crime is the most serious threat to rule
of law in Mozambique. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- --------
VIOLENT, ORGANIZED CRIME MORE COMMON, POLICE TARGETED
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (SBU) The city of Maputo and outlying suburbs continue to
experience an increase in violent criminal incidents to which
the Mozambican Police (PRM) lack the capacity or the strong
motivation to respond. At the same time, the PRM has been
targeted for assassination and intimidation by organized
crime which has deeply infiltrated the police. Police are
clearly involved in the many types of corruption including
drug smuggling. Recent violent incidents highlight the
brazenness of the criminals currently operating in Maputo.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
MAPUTO CITY POLICE CHIEF ASSASSINATED, MANY PRM DEATHS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

3. (SBU) On December 18, in an effort to address rising
criminal violence and attacks on the PRM, President Guebuza
announced nomination of new Commandant of Police Jorge
Khalau, who replaces Custodio Pinto. Since Pinto's
nomination in August 2006, two dozen policemen have been
assassinated, many in or near their homes. Ten officers were
murdered by organized criminals in the last calendar year.
The most recent and highest-profile was the assassination of
Feliciano Juvane, the Director of Order and Public Security
for the city of Maputo, who was shot 10 times at close range
by two men with AK-47s. This occurred in front of his home
less than 1 kilometer away from the PRM Command Center for
the city of Maputo on December 16. No arrests have been made
in the case. Photos of the crime scene showed four PRM
officials and a cameraman standing in and contaminating the
crime scene. Weekly newspaper Savana reported that the
assassination may have been carried out by criminal elements
that have infiltrated the PRM, or perhaps by career criminals
who recently escaped from prison and remain on the loose.

4. (SBU) In July, August, and September 2006, a total of six
members of the "Mambas" anti-organized crime unit, including
its chief Isaias Tchavane, were killed in and around Maputo.
In January 2007, two more members of the Mambas were killed
in Machava. In August 2007, an additional 5 PRM officers
were killed throughout the Maputo area. In December 2008 an
off-duty police officer from the DIO brigade (a new name for
the Mambas) was killed on the beach in Maputo by persons
known to him, according to eye witnesses. Following that
incident, on December 14, 2008, there were two attacks on the
same police station in one day. Three criminals armed with
AK-47 assault rifles attacked a police station in Matola,
killing one police officer and seriously wounding another.
They also re-stole a stolen car which police had recovered
that day.
--------------------------------------
VIOLENT CRIMINALS BECOMING MORE BRAZEN
--------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Most recently, on the evening of Monday, December
15, 2008, three criminals entered The Waterfront Restaurant,
a partially American-owned establishment located near
downtown Maputo and frequented by expatriates. Two of the
criminals were armed with AK-47 assault rifles while the
third was armed with a pistol. The criminals ordered the
Swiss manager to open the safe. When he explained that he
had no access to the safe, one of the criminals shot him in
the leg and lower abdomen causing critical injuries. The
criminals then fled the scene without any proceeds. When
police initially responded they thoroughly disturbed the
scene. More than 14 hours after the incident, the

MAPUTO 00001286 002 OF 002


investigative division of the police still had not initiated
an investigation. The investigative division finally
responded when RSO intervened on behalf of the American
owner. RSO agreed to transport the police investigators from
their office to the restaurant (approximately one mile) in
order to generate a report necessary for a proper insurance
claim.

--------------------------------------------- --------
HARDENED CRIMINALS ESCAPE, THIRD TIME FOR ANIBALZINHO
--------------------------------------------- --------

6. (SBU) On the morning of Sunday, December 07, 2008, Anibal
"Anibalzinho" dos Santos, Jr., a notorious criminal
responsible for the murder of an investigative journalist
among other crimes, escaped for the third time from his cell
in the Maputo City Police Command along with two other
convicted murderers, using smuggled-in keys and tools.
Investigators continue to look into the extent of police
complicity in the escape. One of the murderers was serving a
sentence for the murder of a warden at a different prison
while serving a sentence for yet another violent crime. The
two other escaped murderers remain at large. Despite reports
of being apprehended, dos Santos has not been seen since the
re-capture, and we believe he may be dead or police may have
invented the re-capture story to save face.

7. (U) Following the purported re-capture, the national
spokesperson for the PRM announced that Inspector General of
the Ministry of Interior, General Benedito Zinocacossa, would
lead an inquiry into the circumstances of the case. Upon
hearing this announcement Zinocacossa reached out to the
local media and vehemently denied any knowledge of the
investigation. Zinocacossa, a 30 year police veteran,
accused police leadership of being involved in the escape and
of plotting to kill him. Zinocacossa stated that "All of
them in the police are dirty" and "Anibalzinho was released
by police commanders." The government has offered no
reasonable explanation of these conflicting statements, and
Zinocacossa has reported that he is simply on vacation in
Maputo.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
COMMENT: VIOLENT CRIME AND PRM DEATHS, WEAK RULE OF LAW
--------------------------------------------- ----------

8. (SBU) Incidents of violent crime continue to increase in
and around Maputo, with PRM officers often being targeted,
suggesting that rule of law continues to be a serious problem
in Mozambique. Well-armed criminal elements and a police
force that is widely known to have been infiltrated and
co-opted by criminal gangs provide little protection for
citizens, to say nothing of the diplomatic community, and
raise greater concerns about the role of international
organized crime in Mozambique. Perhaps most alarming is the
weak response from the GRM and lack of public outcry about
recent violence and high-level police assassinations, despite
good coverage in the media. The international community is
heavily involved in supporting Mozambique's fragile democracy
and to a lesser extent its military forces. At the same
time, little is being done by the international community to
assist the PRM. It is doubtful, that civil society and the
rule of law will flourish in Mozambique until major problems
with the PRM can be resolved.
Chapman

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC