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Swedish man charged for Central African slaughter

AFP/The Local · 15 May 2012, 07:43

Published: 15 May 2012 07:43 GMT+02:00

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Erik Mararv, who heads the big game Central African Wildlife Adventures company, and the 10 employees, several of them foreigners, "were charged with murder on Thursday and remanded in custody in Bangui's central N'garagba prison where they were being held," a police official told AFP.

They were initially detained last month in Bakuma and Bangassu and then taken to the capital Bangui.

The bodies of the 13 miners who had been working in Ngungunza were discovered on March 29th.

Photos of the dead men showed them to have been bound with their hands behind their backs and beaten or stabbed to death, police had earlier said.

"The inquiry that followed the discovery of the 13 corpses in the Ngungunza mining worksite ... was carried out with utmost discretion with a view to gathering a maximum of evidence likely to lead to the truth," the official said.

At the time of his arrest, the Swede's wife insisted her husband had nothing to do with the killings.

“In the southern part of our hunting grounds there is a place where they pan gold in a stream. We were building roads in that area, and we had some employees from central Africa working with us. They went down to the stream to fetch water and found dead people. They called my husband and asked him what to do,” the man’s wife told daily Expressen at the time of his arrest in mid-April.

The organization Human Rights Watch wrote on their website that they have documented several attacks in the region, suspected to having been carried out by The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group, “including a massacre of 13 artisanal gold diggers in the Cawa Safari camp area around March 20”.

Story continues below…

The group says that further investigations will be required to determine if the attack was carried out by the LRA or not, although the massacre resembled previous LRA attacks in Congo.

“The victims were beaten to death with machetes and pieces of wood. Some were tied up or stripped naked before they were killed. The LRA is the only armed group suspected to have been active in the camp area recently,” the organization wrote.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:35 May 15, 2012 by sfk
Why we do not see the picture of the Swedish professional hunter, Erik Mararv, here... We see picture of a bunch ugandan soldiers, they are not the actor of the crime... this is discrimination and insulting, the black people. Do not have us power to see a swede can commit crime...
09:36 May 15, 2012 by RobinHood
Does anybody at all believe Mr Mararv and his colleagues tied up thirteen people, poured boiling water on them, cut off parts of their bodies, and then murdered them with a hatchet?

Does anybody believe the local police rounded up a bunch of white guys, hold them in appalling conditions and hope their "rich" relatives will pay a lot of money to get them out?

Arresting and inprisoning someone purely on account of their color is pure racism. Where are the squealing "racist" cake haters when we really need them?
10:08 May 15, 2012 by axiom
This seem to make little or no sense at all, of what gain would this guy have in arranging the brutal killings of these men. sounds like a loada nonsense to me.
11:25 May 15, 2012 by Rishonim
It could be that part of Erik Mararv private safari hunting included human targets. It wouldn't surprise me..I agree with SFK. Why don't wee see an angelic picture of the accused instead of that of the African warlords?
11:55 May 15, 2012 by Scepticion
Given the terrible situation in many African countries where black people kill black people, it indeed seems more likely that a group like LRA is responsible, they probably wanted to extort money from the miners, who paid with their life. The white hunter seems an unlikely suspect, if he'd killed them, he'd have shot them, and would have hidden the bodies, not reported it to the police and cause trouble.

Indeed, it sound more like incompetent police work (which you also get in sweden, btw) and perhaps indeed some hope to extort money from foreign government in exchange for his release.
12:40 May 15, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ sfk and Rishonim

Do you honestly believe that this Swedish guy operates a roving death squad for fun and profit?

A single gold panner shot by accident in a hunting accident is perhaps believeable, but tying up a whole gang of gold panners for a systematic massacre, of the type that is meant to be gruesome enough to spread fear throughout the countryside, is beyond belief.

This is not an accusation of a lone serial killer gone mad, this is an accusation against Marave and 10 employees.

The most likely scenario is extortion against Sweden or the Swedisn and multinational relatives, as others have posted. Somalians have made plenty of money by boarding cargo ships as pirates, so not that hard to imagine that there are land based pirates who operate the same way.

Those who want us to be open minded about alternative interpretations, or who want to suggest that the Swedish guy and his company did this, owe it to us to supply a realistic and believable motive for these killings.
12:42 May 15, 2012 by Kevin Harris
I know I'm a terrible bore, but does anybody know of a single piece of evidence that indicates Mararv tortured and murdered these men?

For that matter, does anybody have a single piece of evidence that the theiving, raping, torturing, mass murderers of the LRA didn't torture and murder them.
13:48 May 15, 2012 by G Kin
Evidence will show...
17:07 May 15, 2012 by p201055r
This story doesn't hang together at all well, in my view.

There's a disconnect between

- the "sensational" headline,

- the appalling human tragedy,

- the arrest and detention of the Swedish individual and his colleagues/employees and

- the attempt to implicate/involve/associate one of the most savage and notorious gangs of thugs in Africa, the LRA, with this atrocity.

Presumably, as a trial or process of sorts evolves, the blanks will be filled in???
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