Police stations cannot be turned into car parks

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Police stations cannot be turned into car parks – Watch
Police stations cannot be turned into car parks – Watch

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The General Commander of the Mozambican police force, Bernadino Rafael, on Tuesday ordered all police posts and stations and district commands to stop acting like private car parks, charging citizens to protect their vehicles.

Speaking in Maputo, at a ceremony marking the end of the “Asante Sana” border operation that ran over the festive season, Rafael said this lucrative side business of some police officers was, in reality, a swindle.

Those police who charged those citizens who left their cars at police stations were swindling both the owners of the vehicles and the legitimate private car parks.

Rafael said citizens had complained at the sums they were charged when they collected their cars from police premises.

“Stop this thing of parking cars and then charging money!”, declared Rafael. “This line of business is not the job of the police force or the customs service”.

The problem is at its worst at the weekends, when the traffic police seize cars for alleged offences by their owners. The cars stay at the police station during what remains of the weekend, and when the owners try to collect them on the following Monday, they are surprised to find the police demanding money.

“This has now finished!”, declared Rafael.

It was the job of the police to guarantee freedom of circulation, he said, and this could not be made conditional on citizens paying the police to retrieve their cars from police custody. All the slips of paper the police had issued to citizens concerning this illicit form of payment must be thrown out, he added.

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