Police: Kidnappers of Rescued American Arrested, Plotted Revenge Abductions

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Nigeria Police yesterday paraded two members of a 15-man transnational kidnap syndicate responsible for the recent kidnap of an American citizen, Mr. Philippe Nathan Walton, in his farm in Masalata village in Niger Republic.

The United States of America’s Special Forces had on October 28, 2020, stormed the hideout of the kidnappers, killed four members of the transnational kidnap syndicate from Niger Republic and two from Nigeria and rescued the hostage in a daring move that was hailed by President Donald Trump.

Parading the suspects at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr. Frank Mba, said that investigations have shown that the syndicate planned revenge abductions following the killing of their members by the USA’s forces.

Mba said the suspects, Mr. Aliyu Abdullahi (a.k.a Mallam), 21 and Mr. Aliyu Umaru (a.k.a Kwatte Kusu), 23, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on November, 25, 2020.

He said: “The two suspected members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian/Nigerien extraction led by Mr. Barte Dan Alhaji and Mr. Dan Buda were arrested following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang and disrupt and halt other criminal activities by them.

“Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) revealed 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.”

Mba said the police was collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations to apprehend other members of the transnational syndicate presently at large.

Meanwhile, as part of efforts aimed at tackling transnational crimes, Mba said the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, is working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organisation (WAPCO) to deepen intelligence sharing amongst security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthen security along the international borders of member states.

He said the suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of investigations.