Suspected kidnappers of American citizen now under police arrest
Two suspected members of a trans-national kidnap syndicate involved in the abduction of an American citizen, Philippe Walton, on October 28, 2020, at his farm in Masalata village, Republic of Niger, has been arrested by the police.
Recall that Walton was rescued by the American Special Forces in Sokoto State, in which six of the kidnappers were killed on October 31.
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, while parading the suspects in Abuja on Thursday said Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, and Aliyu Umaru, 23, were members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian/Nigerien extraction, led by one Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Buda.
According to him, Abdullahi and Umaru who hailed from Sokoto State, were arrested on November 25.
Mba said, “Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts – four Nigeriens and two Nigerians who died during the rescue operations.
“The Force is collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations to apprehend other members of the transnational syndicate currently at large.”
In his reaction, Umaru said they were part of the kidnappers who abducted Walton in Niger.
He said,” We went with seven motorcycles and kidnapped the American after which he was taken to Kalmaro Forest in Sokoto State, where he was rescued by the Special Forces.”
Meanwhile, as part of efforts at tackling transnational crimes, Mba disclosed that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, was working with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organization to deepen intelligence sharing amongst the security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthen security along the international borders of the member states.