Mozambique's most wanted crime suspect arrested in Thailand

Mozambique's most wanted crime suspect arrested in Thailand

Tourist police hold a media briefing on Sunday on the arrest of Momade Assif Abdul Satar. (Photo from @1155TPB Facebook account)
Tourist police hold a media briefing on Sunday on the arrest of Momade Assif Abdul Satar. (Photo from @1155TPB Facebook account)

A Mozambique national on Interpol's red list and wanted in his own country for numerous crimes has been arrested by tourist police in Bangkok, Tourist Police Bureau deputy commissioner Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakpan said on Sunday.

Speaking at a press briefing, Pol Maj Gen Surachate said the man was identified under an Interpol red notice as Momade Assif Abdul Satar, wanted in his southern African home country for many violent crimes including abductions for ransom, murders and illegal arms possession. Mozambique coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States and Interpol offices in Africa and other regions worldwide to seek his arrest.

He said the Thai police had also been asked to look out for the man.

A police investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the country with a passport which identified him as Sahime Mohammad Aslam.

On July 25, tourist police arrested him at a hotel in Thonglor in Bangkok. He could not show the passport when asked by police, and his appearance matches that of Momade Assif Abdul Satar as shown in Interpol's red notice.

The fingerprints of the Mozambique man were sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute for examination, and it was confirmed he is Momade Assif Abdul Satar. Further investigation revealed he has stayed in Thailand for three years.

The man has been initially charged with violating the Immigration Act and had his entry visa revoked.

According to Pol Maj Gen Surachate, Mozambique authorities confirmed that since fleeing his country three years ago, the man had continued to commit crimes by ordering his underworld organisations to abduct people in Mozambique and other African countries for ransoms on more than 50 occasions. In each abduction, his men demanded a ransom of about 100 million baht or the victim would be killed. Two of the kidnap victims were murdered.

The man had also killed a number of officials handling cases against his underworld gangs. In one of the cases, a prosecutor who indicted him in court was shot 16 times in the head, striking fear into the authorities and the public.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate said the Mozambique man will be permanently banned from re-entering Thailand. He said the man had offered a bribe to the police when he was arrested.

He said the suspect would be deported to Mozambique next week. The suspect was not brought to the press briefing for security reasons, he added.

Clip taken from @1155TPB Tourist Police Bureau Facebook account.

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