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Viewing cable 10MAPUTO80, NARCOTRAFFICKING ON UPSWING, CONCERNS ABOUT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MAPUTO80 2010-01-25 11:11 2010-12-08 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Maputo
VZCZCXRO6812
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0080/01 0251156
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 251156Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1213
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0600
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000080 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCOR SNAR MZ
SUBJECT: NARCOTRAFFICKING ON UPSWING, CONCERNS ABOUT 
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS 

REF: A. 09 MAPUTO 1309 
B. 09 MAPUTO 1291 
C. 09 MAPUTO 713 
D. 08 MAPUTO 1228 
E. 08 MAPUTO 1098 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Todd Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b+d) 

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Mozambique has been called the second 
most active narcotics transit point in Africa after Guinea 
Bissau (Ref C). Despite anti-corruption rhetoric, the ruling 
FRELIMO party has not shown much serious political will to 
combat narcotrafficking. Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), 
described as the largest narcotrafficker in Mozambique, has 
direct ties to President Guebuza and former President 
Chissano. Other traffickers bribe both high and low level 
officials. Chief of Customs Domingos Tivane is a significant 
recipient of these narcotrafficking-related bribes. Police 
officials told Embassy officers that they are unwilling to go 
after "big fish" narcotraffickers because of their ties to 
senior officials. The Ministries of Interior and Finance 
have recently back-pedaled on U.S. efforts to engage and 
assist in narcotrafficking and money laundering, a 
significant associated problem. The management of the port 
of Nacala, infamous for allowing the flow of drug 
transshipments from southwest Asia, was recently taken over 
by Celso Correia, principal of Insitec, Ltd, a Guebuza front 
company. A new casino law reduces gambling restrictions in 
Mozambique, providing another avenue for money laundering. 
U.S. support to Border Security and the Mozambican military 
(FADM) has resulted in modest seizures of money and drugs. 
Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help elaborate 
a comprehensive counter-narcotics trafficking (CNT) strategy. 
Any such CNT strategy, after first gauging political will 
which at this point is suspect, should consider the 
strengthening of land and maritime border security, 
professionalization of the police force, educational 
programming for prosecutors on Mozambican CNT laws already in 
place, and development of a financial intelligence 
capability. END SUMMARY. 

-------------------------------------------- 
NARCOTRAFFICKERS BLANDISHING GRM AND FRELIMO 
-------------------------------------------- 

2. (S/NF) Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), described by 
multiple contacts as the largest narcotrafficker in 
Mozambique, contributes heavily to FRELIMO's coffers, and has 
provided significant financial backing to the campaigns of 
former President Joaquim Chissano and current President 
Armando Guebuza. (Note: See TD-314/085221-09 regarding 
written communication from the Office of the Presidency 
directing certain containers be exempted from standard 
scanning and scrutiny at the Port of Maputo. End Note.) 
Traffickers, including MBS, Gulam Rassul, and the Ayoub 
Family (Ref A) routinely bribe police, immigration and 
customs officials to ensure that drugs can enter the country. 
Domingos Tivane, Chief of the Customs Service, is a 
significant recipient of bribes from narcotraffickers (Ref 
B), and he recently purchased real estate in Maputo valued at 
well beyond what his government salary should be able to 
afford. 

------------------------------------------ 
POLICE UNWILLING TO PURSUE MANY DRUG CASES 
------------------------------------------ 

4. (S/NF) Senior members of the Mozambican Police (PRM) have 
told Emboffs that potential CNT training would only help them 
with small-scale traffickers, while other "big fish" would 
remain too large to catch. Of the more than ten cocaine and 
heroin seizures in 2009 at the Maputo airport, none have 
resulted in prosecutions. A senior law enforcement official 
has admitted to Emboffs that most drug seizures are not made 
public and not prosecuted because police and customs 
officials use such seizures to enrich themselves. Such 
officials extract bribes, and may retain the drugs seized for 
resale. Despite repeated requests, the Minister of Interior 
(charged with overall responsibility for police and for 
counter-narcotics) has refused to meet with the CDA to 
discuss increased joint CNT efforts. The GRM recently raised 
objections to an offer for a U.S. Department of Treasury 
official to be embedded into the Financial Crimes Unit, after 
initially agreeing to and supporting the offer. 

--------------------------------------------- 
PROVINCIAL PORTS ATTRACTIVE FOR DRUG TRANSITS 

MAPUTO 00000080 002 OF 002 


--------------------------------------------- 

5. (S/NF) The port of Nacala in particular is believed to be 
a major recipient of narcotics from Southwest Asia. In July 
2009, Celso Correia, who is a principal in Insitec, Ltd, (a 
company whose major shareholder is President Armando 
Guebuza-septel), was installed as head of the Northern 
Development Corridor (CDN) which includes the port of Nacala 
and the northern rail network. Shortly thereafter, Ghulam 
Rassul Moti, who has smuggled hashish and heroin into 
northern Mozambique since at least 1993 (Ref B) greatly 
reduced bribes to local Nacala and Nampula municipal 
authorities and made the payments instead directly to senior 
FRELIMO officials. Nampula Mayor Castro Serafim was reported 
to be particularly irritated that these monthly payments had 
been re-routed straight to higher-level FRELIMO leaders. 

-------------------------------- 
NEW CASINO LAW CAUSE FOR CONCERN 
-------------------------------- 

6. (S) In January, President Guebuza signed into law a new 
"Casino Bill." Passed by the National Assembly (AR) in June 
2009, the law relaxes restrictions on gambling in Mozambique, 
reducing the minimum investment for a casino from $15 to $8 
million, legalizing online gambling, and allowing slot 
machines to be positioned in otherwise non-gambling 
environments. The law also passes financial control of 
casinos from the Ministry of Finance to the less rigorous 
Ministry of Tourism. This bill was passed to encourage 
tourism; however, given Mozambique's minimal financial 
controls, the law will effectively reduce the barriers to 
narcotraffickers looking to launder funds. Nazir Lunat, a 
FRELIMO parliamentarian and influential imam in Maputo, 
recently resigned from his position in the National Assembly 
(AR) because of concerns over the law allowing casino 
liberalizations. 

------------------------------------- 
USG SUPPORT HAS HAD POSITIVE OUTCOMES 
------------------------------------- 

7. (S) With USG support, there has been some progress in 
combating drug trafficking. Using INL funds, Embassy Maputo, 
working with the Embassy of Portugal, provided training to 
border guards which resulted in the seizure of U.S. $2.5 
million in cash and the arrest of two Pakistani smugglers 
(Ref E). In mid-May 2009 police seized U.S. $5 million in 
heroin at the Ressano Garcia border crossing into South 
Africa. Employing 7-meter, rigid hull inflatable boats 
donated by the DoD using Section 1206 funds, the Mozambican 
navy has interdicted several drug shipments near the coast, 
most recently in December. 

------------------------------------------ 
COMMENT: COMPREHENSIVE CNT STRATEGY NEEDED 
------------------------------------------ 

8. (S) Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help 
elaborate a comprehensive CNT strategy. USG interests in CNT 
in Mozambique involve multiple USG departments, including 
State, DoD, DoJ, DHS, and Treasury. Our CNT strategy must 
first address ways to strengthen the GRM's political will to 
address narcotrafficking, while preparing Mozambique with a 
host of programs, to include strengthening of land and 
maritime border security, professionalization of the police 
force, educational programming for prosecutors on Mozambican 
CNT laws already in place, and development of a financial 
intelligence capability.