n Africa Conflict Monitor - Mozambique's thriving kidnapping business : regional analysis - southern africa

Volume 2016, Issue 02
  • ISSN : 2311-6943


Kidnapping for ransom is conducted by perpetrators in Mozambique, the only Southern African country where this crime occurs as a regular, organised activity, and has a different motivation from kidnappings in Western and Eastern Africa. While the intention of all kidnappings is profit, the impetus in Nigeria, where kidnappings are part of thet error campaign of Boko Haram, and in Somalia, where the jihadists of al-Shabaab kidnap victims for ransom, is to finance insurgencies. In Mozambique, kidnapping is strictly a criminal activity conducted to enrich criminal syndicates or individuals. As such, the targets are foreign business people of Asian and European origin who have settled in the country and whose financial situations are generally known in the localities where they reside. Families of kidnap victims are contacted directly and negotiations for ransom prices are usually carried out without government involvement.

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