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Mozambique Traffic Police / Illegal procedures

1 Mozambique Review updated:

On February 16, 2009, at about 14:40, we travelled back to Mozambique, to Matola, from Richardsbay. Just before Boane we were stopped by the traffic Police, stating we were driving at a speed of 67 km/h, but the speed we actually drove accoring to the vehicle spedometer was 60 km/h. The police took my husbands drivers lisence and asked for a bribe otherwise get a fine, I refuse to pay bribes, and we asked for the fine, but they refused to hand him back his lisence. Whilst we were standing there another SA vehicle was stopped, driving a speed of 101 km/h, two policemen walked to his vehicle, no fine was issued, the SA vehicle drove away, he must have paid the requested bribe. Before my husband could get his lisence back, he had to pay them R370 (the fine issued was 1000 mets), but they did not give him a receipt or his change of R30.00.
The officials involved - ARMANDO CHAWO and FRANSISCO GOMEZ.

I regard all Police officials in Mozambique as corrupt, and they definately dont make me feel safe and secure.

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  • My
      29th of Jun, 2009

    Yes i am with you on this i live here and have been stopped for allegedly driving above the speed limit and every time i ask them to prove proof of what speed i was doing i simply get told that 1 km behind me is another police office with a radar gun who got my speed and radioed my number plate to the officer who stopped me. Is this legal ?

    The officer then proceds to tell me that he will give me a fine and i will get my licens bacik from him when i pay the fine again is this legal ?Or i can pay him half of the fine which is 500mts and then i can go ??? Hello hello hello now i want to know was i really speeding or is this cop hungry / thirsty. ???

    I have no problem paying a fine when i am in the wrong but i strongly believe that breaking the law has the same penalts for who ever dose in, citizen, foreigner and police.

    The corruption of police in this country is going to be its down fall and is chancing away more potential economic growth because investors who get dealt with by corrupt police are left with a bad taste in there mouth's and see the government as corrupt because of the image the police show.

    Mozambique you have so much to offer but you police seem to be happy to prevent or slowing down your progress.

    My hart bleeds for you

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      24th of Mar, 2010

    Travelling back from Maputo to Johannesburg i was stopped by the police in a van..there were six of them one carrying a AK47, when i pulled over i was told by one of the police men that i went over a solid line, so i said to him i'm glad you can see the lines on this road because i cannot see them, he then asked me for my drivers license and passport, which i gave to him, he said that i had committed an offence and had to pay him 3000mts, which i refused, and argued with him that i had done nothing wrong, then another policeman with a AK47 came to my car and pointed that AK47 at me, this was very frightning as i had kids in the car, he refused to give back my license and passport, and told me until i pay him otherwise he will not give it back to me, I told him that i did'nt have 3000mts as my holiday was over and had spent most of the money and only had just enough money to put petrol, he was not intereted and said i would have to spend another week here in jail until the court case.I then phoned one of my freinds which we were travelling in a convoy of three cars and had people we brought from Portugal there on holiday, the policeman then paniced and asked me for a 1000mts then i could go, and that money was to buy coldrinks for all the policeman on the van, i just wanted to get out of there so i gave him my petrol money 1000mts, he gave me back my license and passport. that had spoiled my holiday as i was treated like a criminal, the other freinds of ours have already said that they will never put foot in mozambique ever again, this happened on monday 22 -03-2010 at 4, 30 in the afternoon, my question is... can mozambique afford this ????????????. Now in south africa i have spocken to quite a few people that have been there, and they all say that the police target all the foreigh number plates and harras the people for money all on the road back to South Africa, for me i will never put foot back there...until mozambique sort out there police force which are very's a big pity you have a very beautifull country"PLEASE SORT OUT YOUR POLICE "

    0 Votes
  • Oe
      3rd of Sep, 2013

    I Agree the cops in Moz are the worst. They are criminals and terrorists. They intimidate you, threaten you, steal your money and call you a racist when you refuse to pay them off. They fabricate offenses, stick a rifle in your face and then insist that you have to pay a BS fine.
    In a matter of 2 weeks I was stopped at the same place, once for walking without a passport and then for making a U-turn which is a complete lie.
    A colleague and I went for dinner which is within walking distance from the hotel. We were sober, well fed and enjoying the evening walk back to the hotel. We were then stopped by 4 men in overalls with no identification except their AK47's. In RSA this would be called a Hijacking or Mugging. This happened about 50 meters from the VIP hotel.
    The Four men walked passed me and then said something like "hey you, i'm talking to you. Where is your passport?" I then replied, "who are you and what do you want?". They replied, "we are police and when I talk to you, you will remove your hands from your pockets or I'll arrest you!!". I then asked for identification, and one of them showed me worn out id with a badge.
    I then told them that the passports are safe in the hotel. They refused to allow me to get it and then called me a terrorist and a racist because i am a white South African. They said wanted to arrest me and take to jail. This carried on for an hour as i refused to pay them a bribe. Sorry, but Mozambique is a hell hole with no protection for tourists or businessmen.
    Sound advise: Do not hire a car and drive around, make sure you use a taxi and make sure that they take you to the front door of your hotel or restaurant. Do not walk around at night as you are not safe from the police. If you plan to drive, make sure that you are willing to pay a bribe, and make sure that you bring enough cash to keep you in your wallet. Keep the bulk of your money in multiple hidden places. I have been to Moz, Tanzania, DRC, and Lesotho. Moz is the worst!!!

    0 Votes
  • G4
      27th of Nov, 2013

    Last night in Maputo my colleagues and I were stopped 5 times by armed police thugs. They were very aggressive and threatening. We were in a taxi looking for a place to have a drink but eventually aborted the evening out after the fourth police stop. We refused to pay them any bribes which really infuriated them and they threatened to lock us up. We stuck to our position eventually they let us go. But being stopped like this 5 times in 30 minutes was very unpleasant and is really dissapointing for anyone wanting to invest in the country or just visit as a peaceful tourist. It's seems worse than normal at the moment. Police in Maputo are basically criminals with huge AK47's, very scary.

    0 Votes
  • Ce
      25th of Feb, 2014

    Returning from Chidenguele on the 23rd February we eneterd the Maputo area, Oppisite the new stadium we were pulled over by police wearing grey uniforms. They said we were not allowed to have luggage in our vehicle and that it was supposed to be in a trailer. we were also told that we have to have a fire extinguisher in the vehicle which we did not have. we were told to pay a fine of 5000 meticles.
    I refused as in my opinion i was in the right, the police became very aggresive and insisted that I pay the fine. I refused and told them that i wanted to go to the police station where these so called laws could be verified.
    They saw that I was not going to give in to them and after about 20 minutes they said that i can go if I give them some refreshments.
    I refused this as well as i did not have any.
    I was then told to leave.
    This whole incident spoiled an exceptional lovely holiday. I will go back because of the lovely holiday destinations in Mozambique but dont enjoy the harrasment by the police.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      19th of May, 2014

    I am Mozambican and I have never see anything as bad as the Mozambican police! The irony of all is that these are the people that are supposedly there to protect you, however they are the ones turning your life into HELL!!! Tonight they stopped me as I was driving to park my car at car park nearby, which is5 min from my house. I usually leave my bag and phones in the house for safety reason as I might be assaulted on my walk back home after parking the car. The distance its literally 5 to 10min drive. The police man - Jaime, threatened to handcuff me, take me to jail because I didn't have my documents even after explaining on the reasons why. And the fact that I challenged it back to him that he was not properly in his right to demand from me that he was even more aggressive towards me. Had to call to call my father to bring my bag with the documents. In the meantime he was disrespectful to me with the way he talked! Ordering me as to open the boot, step out of the car, etc. Humiliating to say the least. This needs to stop!!!

    0 Votes
  • Mo
      13th of Jul, 2014

    I was robbed by three Mozambican police officers on the pretext of a routine check around 5am in front of the American Cultural Center on Av. Mao Tse Tung. I had stepped out of my friend’s apartment where I am staying on Av. Mao Tse Tung to look for a cab to take me to Fatima’s Backpackers, from where I had intended to take the shuttle to the beach at Tofo. The police searched my pockets and took 5, 000 meticais and roughly $120 from me (which is all I had on me at that time). Prudently, I did not resist (aside from shouting) since at least one of the police officers carried a firearm with him. I did not wish to be at the hollow end of a nasty firearm in a foreign country. I did not end up going to Tofo, since I did not have any money left on me.

    It is amazing that the Government continues to assume that tourists and business people will come to this hellhole of a country, inspite of the fact that the people who actually have the money to spend/invest in this country are the ones who are being targeted. I would much rather spend my money in a country that welcomes tourists and investors and guarantees their safety. For folks reading these posts: if you are planning a beach holiday, go to SA, Tanzania, or even Kenya. You will be welcomed and spoiled silly by amazing people and great scenery. Take your money away from Mozambique, unless the Government does something serious to bring the police under control.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      28th of Jul, 2014

    I lead teams into Mozambique to carry out social upliftment programs. For example we have opened a clinic and a school for the benefit of the rural populations.
    This work is threatened because of the conduct of traffic officers. For example we were stopped in Maputo on the toll road where they were trapping. I was asked for drivers and papers which I produced. Eventually the officer said I had to pay a Mets4000 fine for rear seat passengers not wearing seat belts. I said I only had Mets1000 which he replied, "Give it to me". I did and he gave me my papers and said you can go. A second time I was stopped for travelling in the yellow line, (Which did not exist) I explained that I had slowed to wait for a second vehicle following me and moved over to allow faster traffic to pass. Again the threat of Mets4000. A third time I was stopped entering Maputo. Checked all papers etc and threatened a fine of Mets4000. Again for rear seat belts.
    I am tired of this negative attitude to foreign vehicles in Maputo. (In other provinces, Sofala, Manica, Zambezia etc no threats at all.)
    This attitude is driving tourists away never mind agencies that are improving conditions for the people of Mozambique. Jonathan Hart

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      28th of Jul, 2014

    Oh yes, when I returned home I checked the Mozambique law, only to discover that you do need to use rear seat belts, but there is a fine of only Mets400. HMM! some rip off hey!

    0 Votes
  • Dj
      18th of May, 2015

    Yes I Olso have this problem at this moment I was coming from malawi the Mozambique Traffic police stop me at entrance to nampula ask me about my documents I provide then he ask me my driving licence I have given him my international driving licence he just pot in he pocket and ask me to pack my car, then told me that Mozambique don't allow international driving licence just sadec driving licence, and he give me filled of 5000Mt to pay until now I M in nampula I cannot go back I can't Olso drive, and Mozambique is member of UN according to un law u can use international driving licence for all contry member for UN, the Mozambique govment must take this usu seriously,

    0 Votes
  • Ci
      23rd of Jul, 2015

    We are a Mauritius based company located in Nacala. Our primary business is transport and employ 17 local Mozambicans. We are constantly harrased by the traffic police, who will detain a fully loaded vehicle on frivolous trumped up charges. we refuse to pay bribes and usually have to let the truck and driver stay at the roadside until they get bored and let the driver leave. This is one of many, many inconveniences that the authorities impose on the European investor. To them you are fair game and they look to screw you from every angle.
    We are most unfortunately committed to our investment, but if there was any way that we could trumpet to the world, not to come to Mozambique, we would . They are the bottom of the human chain.

    0 Votes
  • No
      11th of May, 2016

    Hi, we are living in Mozambique for the past 2 years.Everytime we go to Maputo, wich is about 2 times a week we get stopped by police or pulled over by cops cars with aks.Now we have the rule of the road constantly with us in the car, meaning that every time they start their nonsense about some invented rule, we show them the real rules.Also it is a good idea to have an anticorruption pamphlet in full view in your car, they realise that you are not an easy target.Lastly don't break the rules and dont pay the bribe, they might threaten you and show you their guns but in the end they will let you go as you are wasting their bribing time!

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      17th of May, 2016

    I just arrived back from Mozambique in May of 2016. When in Beira Mozambique I policeman demanded that I buy lunch for the whole police station for $100 or else I be arrested! What choice did I have but to pay? A young woman I do not know told police that I did not pay her for prostitution and got $200 out of me - $100 for police and another $100 for herself. My guide gave me a tour of the hospital there which does not even have running water and is a death trap - When in there a nurse threatened to call the police because I had a camera with me so out goes another $100 bribe! I ran out of cash because of these bribes and my credit card was deemed as fraud by my bank when trying to get cash from an ATM so I got desperate enough to accept when seemed to be a nice offer by a native to sleep in her guestroom for a few nights. I even paid her enough for more than all of my food. She turned into the devil and went to police demanding $250 out of me which I had to borrow from my guide's wife who lives there greatly inconveniencing her. Then while taking the minibus back to Zimbabwe she calls my guide and lies that I stole her big plasma TV which of course was absurd and gets another $200 bribe out of us in order to leave the country! Unbelievable but honestly TRUE stories! I will never go to Mozambique again!!! This woman's name is Sonia and lives at Rua Marques Sa da Bandeira Cidade da Beira R. 1.295 0 truly the devil!

    0 Votes
  • Tu
      18th of Jul, 2016

    I have been to Moz several times and the police corruption is just absurd! The first time I was on a public bus traveling from Tofo to Maputo.The police stopped the bus and asked everyone for ID.Upon seeing my passport, the police said the immigration stamp on my passport page wasn't bright enough and they were going to lock me up.After putting up a fight telling them that I do not personally stamp my passport at the airport- I had to give in to their bribe demands and pay 1000 mets as I was delaying everyone on the bus. Last time I was in Maputo ( June 2016) I was stopped on 2 different occasions while in a green and yellow taxi and had to bribe my way out. I have come to the conclusions that they stop taxis at night under the assumption the passenger has money.Once you take out a passport and can't speak Portuguese..., it's game over.My advice is if you are not in the Polana area, make sure you have some kind of cash just in case

    0 Votes
  • Es
      12th of Jan, 2017

    I'm sending this as a warning about Mozambique to my fellow South Africans. People should know what they are up against when going there. I went to Mozambique in December with the intention of doing charity which I still did. We handed out sweet parcels to the children of Survivor Island. On 09 December we were stopped by the police in Inharrime on our way to Tofo. We were told that we exceeded the speed limit. The speed camera could not prove it as we had speed control on. We were 2 cars travelling together and it is also impossible that the camera could pick up 2 cars at once. The drivers licenses were confiscated and were told to pay 1000 mts each car. The drivers advised that they do not have cash on them and that they would go to the bank and would pay it at the police station. The police woman was very rude and refused to give back the licenses and ended up having an argument with one of the drivers. I got out of the car and tried to find out what the issue was. I told her that we all should go to the police station to sort it out. We took pictures and a video to show the station commander but at the police station we were ordered by the station commander to delete it as it was illegal to take photo's of the police in Mozambique. Afterwards I was accused of swearing at the police woman which was a blatant lie (I retrieved the video which can proof that I did not swear at her but instead insisted on sorting out the problem at the police station). We even apologized and stayed humble but was still treated badly and accused of being racist South Africans.We spend the whole of the Friday and Monday at the police station, hot, hungry and thirsty and treated like criminals. My kids were intimidated and they wanted to confiscate their cell phones. The police were looking for all sorts of reasons to find fault and even accused the girls of urinating in front of the police station which is ridiculous. My passport was confiscated and I was told I must come back the Monday which is 113 km away from where we were staying. The Monday I was ordered to pay 20 000 mts plus 600 mts as a fine or be arrested. All this did not even happen at a court house and none of the people could really be identified as a prosecutor or magistrate as they had no court attire on. It happened in a little room at a building while the court house was across. I had no choice but to pay or be arrested for something I did not do. In fact, I was first ordered to pay 25 000 mts and I advised that I do not have that much as all my money was spend on the charity drive. Then it was brought down to 20 000 mts. I kept on asking what my charge was but I was just told that I swore at the police woman. I was told that someone would call me to say when I must come to court and if found innocent that I would get the 20 000 mts back. Nobody contacted me up until today although I even advised them on my return date of the 19th to SA. I tried contacting the Embassy but they did not answer the phone and I even sent e-mails with no responses back. I so happened to know a well know South African government officials wife's number and contacted her. She referred it to her assistant who contacted me and referred it to the presidency who in turn referred it to the High Commission. I sent several mails to the SA government asking for help. Only the following Friday did I get a call from someone from the Embassy who said that someone else would contact me. The Sunday I still did not get a call back and contacted him. He then gave me an e-mail address for someone else who instead said that he could not assist as he cannot get involve with the Mozambican laws and that I would have to get a lawyer to assist me. Some lady also called me and said that "sorry we cannot help you". You will probably have to come back to Mozambique and if found guilty that you can even get a prison sentence and you would have to pay a lawyer. This was nothing but a money extortion story. My advise to all South Africans is to stay away from Mozambique. We have lost nothing there and missing out on nothing either. Our country is far more beautiful and we do not have people here trying to extort money all the time. Although we have corruption it is not to that extend. Our government/ High Commission is also not interested in trying to help you once being victimized there. You are on your own! I think this is the norm. Further more, while doing this good charity deed at Survivor Island, our money and towels were stolen from the guys on the boat who took us there. I even gave them sweet parcels. Can you ever! Mozambique will never see me again!

    +1 Votes

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