Mozambique News Agency

AIM Reports


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Maputo, 9 Dec (AIM) - The Mozambican police have re-arrested Anibal dos Santos Junior ("Anibalzinho"), the man who led the death squad that murdered top investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso in November 1980.

Anibalzinho escaped from the cells in the Maputo City Police Command on Sunday morning, with two other murderers, Samuel Chavengueza ("Samito") and Custodio Luis de Jesus ("Todinho").

According to a police source contacted by AIM on Monday night, Anibalzinho was picked up earlier in the day and taken to the Maputo top security jail. This is the prison from which the assassin made his two earlier escapes in September 2002 and May 2004.

Samito and Todinho are still at large. According to one report, Todinho was seen on Sunday drinking in a bar in the outer Maputo suburb of Magoanine. The police claim they have clues to the whereabouts of both men, and assert that they will soon be recaptured.

AIM's source gave no details of the operation that led to the re-arrest of Anibalzinho. However, Tuesday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais", claims that he was detained when he was driving a Toyota Conquest, bearing a foreign number plate, near the border with Swaziland.

"The fugitive was heading for Swaziland", declared the paper's source. He said the police had put together "an enormous operation" to recapture Anibalzinho, concentrating particularly on the borders with South Africa and Swaziland.

The source said that Anibalzinho "was alone, and did not put up any resistance to the police".

Anibalzinho was in possession of eight copies of the keys to the padlocks of the cells where he, Samito and Todinho had been incarcerated, plus six screwdrivers, three saw blades, a crowbar and two pairs of wire-cutters. Some of this equipment, smuggled into his cell, had probably been used to open the hole in the wall of the prison corridor through which the three men are believed to have escaped.

Investigations are continuing into the extent of police complicity in the escape. Seven police guards who were on duty at the time have been detained.

Anibalzinho is serving a 30 year prison sentence for the murder of Carlos Cardoso.



This is a condensed version of the AIM daily news service - for details contact


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