Maputo — The Mozambican police on Tuesday arrested two Chinese citizens at Cassacatiza, on the frontier between Mozambique and Zambia, in Tete province, who were found to be possession of illegal firearms and large sums of money.
According to a report in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, the Chinese were carrying a Brazilian Taurus pistol with two ammunition clips and a hunting rifle with 45 bullets. They had no authorisation for these guns.
They were also carrying, in cash, 22,700 US dollars, 10,379 Malawian kwacha, 569 Zambian kwacha and 479 Chinese yuan. None of the money had been declared on entering the country.
The head of public relations department in the Tete provincial police command, Deolinda Matsinhe, said the Chinese were arrested shortly after they had crossed the border from Zambia. They told the police they intended to use the money to purchase timber in Chifunde district, near the border.
This would have been an entirely illegal operation, since the two Chinese have no licence to export Mozambican timber.
“Diario de Mocambique” also reported that the police have arrested four Tanzanian and two Mozambican poachers in the northern province of Niassa.
The six men were detained in a joint operation between the police and game wardens from the Niassa Reserve, the largest conservation area in the country. The poachers were in possession of 12 elephant tusks, two Mauser hunting rifles, 52 bullets for the rifles, and a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Samuel Omade, head of the press office of the Niassa provincial police command, told reporters that the police are on the track of another Tanzanian member of the group. “We have clues towards catching him, because his colleagues are collaborating with us”, said Omade.