The Rivers State Police Command said its operatives have nabbed a suspected kidnapper after collecting N25 million as ransom for the release of his victim, John Sunny, a popular Port Harcourt hotelier.
The Police also rescued Sunny who was shot three times before he was abducted by gunmen from his residence at Artillery in Port Harcourt, on December 19.
Also, the command said the miscreants refused to release the victim even after his relatives paid the ransom in dollars equivalent.
The State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, disclosed this during his first media briefing in the New Year held at the Command Headquarters along Moscow Road, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Disu said the victim spent 18 days in the kidnappers’ den with his injury untreated before he was rescued on January 6 after his relative who had been secretly paying ransom decided to notify the police of the abduction.
“This victim was kidnapped on December 19 at his residence in Artillery, Port Harcourt by these hoodlums. The victim is a popular hotelier in town.
“These hoodlums shot him three times on the leg before he was abducted. His family did not tell the police or other security agencies. They (victim’s family) decided to pay the ransom that was demanded by the kidnappers.
“The total sum of about N25m in dollars equivalent was paid to these kidnappers, but they refused to release the victim. It was at this stage that the wife of the victim decided to inform the police, on December 30.
“The police of the C4i Intelligence started to work on it. Earlier this month, our men had an encounter with them but these kidnappers escaped.”
Disu said on noticing that operatives had identified the kind of vehicles they used and the colours, the miscreants took the two operational vehicles to the panel beater to change the colours.
According to him,
“They changed the colours but we have recovered the two vehicles. Yesterday (Monday) night, on the discovery of the location where the victim was kept, we decided to embark on a rescue operation of the victim today (Tuesday).
“At about 0700 hours, officers of the command went to their abode in Agbonchia-Oyigbo forest in Eleme Local Government Area where they kept the victim since then.
“The operation was successful, the victim was rescued and one of the kidnappers while exchanging fire with officers was injured and is undergoing treatment.
“The victim has been taken to the hospital and undergoing treatment at the moment. We recovered one AK-47 rifle from the kidnappers and two magazines loaded with 44 rounds of live ammunition and the two operational vehicles used to torment members of the public.
“The vehicles are one RS 315 and RS 330. The peculiar thing about these kidnappers is that they have been the ones collecting their ransom in food flasks.
“They demand their ransom in dollars and ask it to be put in food flask. Those who escaped we know how to get them.”