Police arrest two suspects involved in kidnap of American

The Nigerian Police have arrested two suspected members of a trans-national kidnap syndicate involved in the abduction of an American citizen, Philippe Nathan Walton, on October 28, 2020, at his farm in Masalata Village, Republic of Niger.

Walton was rescued by American Special Forces in Sokoto State, Nigeria, in an operation, in which six of the kidnappers were killed on October 31, 2020.

Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who paraded the suspects, Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, and Aliyu Umaru, 23, in Abuja on Thursday, said they were both from Sokoto State, were arrested on 25th November 2020.

He said the two 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 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, NPM, mni 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,” Mba said.

Both suspects confessed to the crime.

Umaru said they were part of 15 kidnappers who abducted Walton in Niger.

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