Police seize 200 stolen South African vehicles in Maputo (African Eye News Service, Maputo, 29/10) - A bi-national police task team recovered almost 200 stolen South African vehicles from Mozambican motorists in the capital of Maputo last week, according to the country's interior ministry. Ministry spokesman Abilio Quive said that a joint team of police, customs and Attorney General officials from both countries seized 90 vehicles on Tuesday alone. "Word immediately spread about the operation and people began hiding their cars at home and rather walked to work instead," said Quive. A further 110 stolen vehicles, largely luxury models such as BMWs and Mercedes Benz 4x4s, were nevertheless recovered from motorists by Friday. "It doesn't matter if the cars now have [Mozambican] certificates. If we suspect they are stolen we check and confiscate them," said Quive. He added that stolen luxury or sports utility vehicles were systematically stolen in South Africa and other surrounding countries and sold in Maputo for very low prices. "People must learn to ask why vehicles are so cheap," Quive said. The bi-national anti-crime operation is also designed to crack down on cross- border drug, arms and contraband smuggling. Quive said the operation, and linked initiatives by other law enforcement units, hoped to combat syndicates that were using Mozambique as a transit point for illegal consignments from Asia.
This page was last updated on 22 December 2000.