Maputo – The Mozambique National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) on Wednesday presented to journalists in Maputo two Angolan citizens accused of being involved in the crime of counterfeiting US dollars.
SERNIC Maputo spokesman Hilario Lole said authorities seized $ 16,000 which turned out to be fake. They believed the fake dollars were part of a transnational network involving Mozambican, Angolan and South African citizens who counterfeited several currencies.
“Legal proceedings are underway for their criminal liability but also to issue arrest warrants against the remaining members of the gang who are still at large,” Lole said. He added that the criminal network had also been implicated in unsuccessful attempts to forge the Mozambican currency, the metical.
The defendants have denied any involvement in the counterfeiting of currency and claimed to know nothing about the reasons that led to their arrest in Mozambique.
“I am a businessman and entered Mozambique legally. I have been here for two months looking for business opportunities. I do not know why I was arrested,” said one of the Angolans, 42 years old.
SERNIC also introduced three other people, including a police officer, following an attempted extortion of money from the driver of a tanker truck, which was circulating in the streets of Maputo in the early hours of the morning. The country observes a curfew every evening from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.