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Editorial

The most dangerous cops in the world

The most dangerous cops in the world

Are those that are in it for the money. And here in good old Mozam, that’s how it all works. Not to say that everyone in the force in 3rd world fascist Mozam is corrupt. But just get on the wrong side of our boys in grey or green or blue or purple, and see what happens.
A few examples…
All of a sudden, without warning, the main road into the market and the beach area at Praia do Tofo, became a one way – out. And so, trusting their GPS’s or experience of coming to Tofo before, many an unsuspecting tourist or expat came off their ultra long journey – only to be stopped by police, for coming down the centuries old main drag – the wrong way. So the force approach with a certain amount of  vehemence at the outset (the aggression comes later). The fine is nominal, usually starting at about 10 000 Mets (R3500), and if you keep your wits about you and play along, you can get away with 1000 mets or so. Straight into the pockets of the diligent law enforcers. But if you argue without serious substance behind your argument…it’s a short walk to Casa de Branco (Jail), until you pay. Try it.


So, an expat, late at night, on his motorcyle – takes a chance and coasts down the wrong way. He has a girl on the back and as he gets near the cop station entrance, a darting cop flies out of the gate and tries to grab the bike, which is going about 30kmh. They almost collide and the rider pushes away what is evidently an extremely drunk policeman, on duty. The wrestle comes to an end in a few milliseconds and the rider fires up, hits the market, drops the girl and heads off to St. Somewhere to hide a while. He gives it half an hour and creeps towards home. As he gets off the bike, the same drunk cop puts a gun to to his temple. The biker, knowing full well he is dealing with a drunk and corrupt cop, takes action and in a quick maneuvre – grabs the gun. He then drags the cop back to the police station, whereupon after a flurry of exchanges in local Bitonga – the biker is arrested and thrown in jail.
4 Hours and a few thousand mets later, and with the help of a local saint – the biker goes back to his life!

The same cops greet him the next day as if nothing had happened.
Another one…
A group of South Africans go to Vilancoulos. Dhow trip to Bazaruto Island. When they finally make it across the huge expanse of water, their guides send them to the top of the dune – a huge climb. One of the party looks back and is sure that the guides, there are three of them – are going through their bags?! They return to find a total of 9000 mets missing?! Very sourly they ask to head home, and once there, complain to the owner. He asks how much went missing. Then promptly counts out 9000 Mets and hand it back over?!
So the same group are on the beach at Praia do Tofo for New Years. A super drunk cop heads up to them, cocks his AK47, points it at them, and blurbles – “Dar denheiro!”. They hastily hand over the 3000 Mets they had between them. Then, shaken and stirred, they head for the cop station. The dude in charge hears their story, asks how much was taken, and promptly hands back the 3000 mets?!?!?!
And another one…
Me. And yes ok it was my fault. Never relieve yourself anywhere near a cop. The market is full of cool shops and bars, and you can easily get involved for hours over a meal and a chat. There is one problem though. None of these “baracas” have toilets. Not one.
So we, girls and boys alike, would scurry over to the rubbish dump and pass water (or beer) behind the structure. This went on for years. Finally the municipality put up a brand new toilet. They charged us 5 Mets to use it, no problem, great – but, they lock ’em up at 5 in the arvo?!
So, the cops, using all their initiative, hide in the shadows of night, and like Jack the Ripper – pounce on any unsuspecting reveller trying to take a pee. Man or women. Local or tourist. It cost me 1000 Mets, hurriedly produced as they were stripping me of shoes, bag and belt and about to be thrown into Casa do Branca (an adoring name for the brand new white jail) once again, straight into the pocket (thanks Paul, for bailing me out – again!0.
A lot more to follow…

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Praia do Tofo – also holds hidden – the dark side of paradise.

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