MAPUTO, One of Mozambique’s richest men, Momade Bachir Suleiman, was kidnapped on Wednesday in Maputo in the premises of the Maputo Shopping Center, one of the largest business centers in the country’s capital city.
Suleiman, whom the U.S. government accused in 2010 of being a drug baron, was kidnapped soon after arriving in the shopping center by three unidentified armed individuals, armed with two AK- 47 assault rifles, and he had no personal protection when the incident occurred, according to the police.
The police have so far released no further information about the kidnapping.
His family has not issued any statement over the kidnapping.
Despite lengthy prison sentences imposed on kidnappers by Mozambican courts over the past, kidnap gangs are continuing to strike in Maputo. It is the third kidnapping incident happened in the southern African country’s capital city since the past month.
In 2007, Suleiman inaugurated the Maputo Shopping Center in downtown Maputo, which consolidated his position as one of the strongest businessmen in Mozambique.
But his empire got shaken in 2010 when accused as responsible for drug trafficking and money laundry through his companies, though he refused all the allegations.
U.S. President Barack Obama named Suleiman as a drug trafficker in 2010, under the Kingpin Act of 1999, which makes it possible for the U.S. government to impose financial and economic sanctions against foreign drug traffickers.