The Police say they have arrested two suspects in connection with the kidnap of an American, Mr. Philip Walton, who was rescued on Oct. 31 in Sokoto State by the U.S. Special Forces.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Frank Mba, said at a news briefing Thursday in Abuja that the suspects were arrested by operatives of the police Intelligence Response Team and Force Intelligence Bureau.
Walton was kidnapped on Oct. 26 in his farm in Niger Republic and ferried to a forest in Sokoto State by the kidnappers before he was successfully rescued by the U.S. Special Forces.
Six suspected kidnappers were killed during the rescue operation by the forces.
Mba said police went after the survivors of the syndicates that carried out the kidnap operation while acting on credible intelligence.
“After days and weeks of massive investigations through intelligence and follow up actions by detectives, two male suspects were arrested.
“In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the suspects were among the 15-man transnational kidnap gang that carried out the earlier kidnap of the American,” he said.
Mba said it was also discovered that in the course of investigation, the suspects were already motivated by intense malice and the need to take revenge for the death of their fellow gang members.
According to him, the investigation revealed that the gang had concluded plans to undertake massive kidnap operations targeted at security personnel and foreign nationals in both Niger Republic and Nigeria.
He said that the successful arrest of the suspects had disrupted their dangerous plot.
The FPRO said the police operatives in Nigeria were working in partnership with their Niger Republic counterparts and other stakeholders to arrest other members of the gang currently at large.
He pledged that the commitment of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to work with other members of the West African Chiefs of Police to deepen intelligence sharing.
He said the idea was to strengthen security and other general law enforcement operations within and across the borderlines and protection of critical assets at the national borders.
Mba said the Nigeria Police had mapped out elaborate security arrangements ahead of the Yuletide.
“We will be carrying out massive deployment of motorised patrols on the highways and designated black spots.
“We will also be carrying out intelligence led purposeful and target oriented raids of black spots.
“We will be paying close attention to our water ways and will also, be working with other security agencies and members of the intelligence community,” he added.
According to him, the idea is to ensure that Nigerians have a Christmas, devoid of crimes violence and other forms of undesirable activities of undesirable elements. (NAN)