Maputo, 25 May (AIM) - The Mozambican police on Tuesday evening confirmed that the country's most notorious assassin, Anibal dos Santos Junior ("Anibalzinho"), who escaped from the Maputo top security prison on 9 May, has been re-arrested in Canada.
Anibalzinho was serving a prison sentence of 28 and a half years for his part in the November 2000 murder of Mozambique's top investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso.
A brief press statement, signed by the head of police public relations, Nataniel Macamo, announced that official information was received on Monday that the Canadian police had detained Anibalzinho at Toronto International Airport. The statement said this arrest was due to "cooperation among the police forces of the world through Interpol". It added that Anibalzinho, who has Portuguese citizenship, had been travelling on a forged passport, but gave no details.
Measures are now under way "through appropriate channels" to seek Anibalzinho's extradition, the statement concluded.
The route Anibalzinho took to reach Toronto is not yet known - but it is most likely that he crossed the Mozambican border into South Africa, where he has plenty of criminal connections from his days trafficking in stolen cars. It is an easy matter to reach Toronto from Johannesburg, changing planes in Europe.
But this escape must have been carefully planned. Among the questions that must now be asked are: who arranged the false passport ? Who paid for the air ticket ? Where was Anibalzinho planning to stay in Canada?
And, perhaps most important of all, when Anibalzinho eventually returns to his cell in the Maputo top security prison, what measures will the authorities take to ensure that he does not escape for a third time?
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