The Nigeria Police Force say two members of a transnational kidnap syndicate involved in the kidnap of a United States (U. S.) citizen, Philippe Walton, in neighbouring Republic of Niger have been arrested.
PlatinumPost reports that Walton, who was rescued in a special operation by U. S. special forces a few weeks ago, was kidnapped on 28th October, 2020 at his farm in Masalata Village, in the landlocked Republic of Niger.
A statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday and signed by police spokesman, Frank Mba, said the two suspected kidnappers, Aliyu Abdullahi, 21years a.k.a Mallam and Aliyu Umaru, 23years a.k.a Kwatte Kusu, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on 25th November, 2020.
The statement read: “Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested two members of a trans-national kidnap syndicate involved in the kidnap of an American Citizen, Philippe Nathan Walton, on 28th October, 2020 at his farm in Masalata Village, Republic of Niger. The suspects, Aliyu Abdullahi ‘m’ 21yrs a.k.a Mallam and Aliyu Umaru ‘m’ 23yrs a.k.a Kwatte Kusu, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on 25th November, 2020.
“The two (2) suspects – members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian/Nigerien extraction, led by Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Buda – were arrested following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang, disrupting and halting other criminal activities by them.
“Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team IRT reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts – 4 Nigeriens and 2 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.
“Meanwhile, as part of efforts at tackling transnational crimes, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, is working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organization (WAPCO) to deepen intelligence sharing amongst security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthen security along the international borders of member States.
“The suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigations.”