Friday, 11 June 2010

Drug money has no smell

Mozambique


President Barack Obama caused a commotion in Maputo on 1st June when he added the name of Asian Mozambican businessman Mohamed Bachir Suleman to the list of international drug traffickers singled-out by the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Suleman is one of the richest businessmen in the country; his companies include Grupo MBS, the Kayum Centre and the Maputo Shopping Centre. But he is also an accredited contributor to Frelimo (governing party) funds and his rise has been admired by President Armando Guebuza. The latter had, moreover, inaugurated Mohamed Bachir Suleman's shopping mall in Maputo in May 2007 in a high profile ceremony. The businessman has never made a secret of his links with Frelimo and is always ready to sing President Guebuza's praises. Replying to questions from Mozambican journalists recently, he stated «I will continue to support my party, my government and my President, just as I and my family have always done ». Certain people inside Frelimo consider President Guebuza's display of affinity with a sleazy businessman worrying and dangerous. Too late, this drugs scandal could now have repercussions on the President.

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