11 May 2014

Nigeria: 3 Kidnapped Dutch Nationals Freed in Bayelsa

The Police Commissioner, Hilary Okpara, handed the victims to the Dutch Ambassador on Saturday night.

The three Dutch nationals who were kidnapped by gunmen at Letugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State were released Saturday night.

The Dutch nationals: Erhard Leffers, Marianne Hendricks-Vos and Yandries Groenenedijk, were kidnapped alongside two Netherlands-based Nigerians, Sunny Ofehe and Femi Soewu, on May 4.

The Nigerians were released hours after the kidnap.

Alex Akhogbe, the Bayelsa Police spokesman, who confirmed the development on Sunday in a telephone interview, said the Police Commissioner, Hilary Okpara, handed the victims to the Dutch Ambassador on Saturday night at the Police Headquarters in Yenagoa.

"The were freed last night and were handed over immediately to the Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria by the Commissioner of Police after debriefing, afterwards they were taken to the Government House Yenagoa," he said.

They were reportedly on a fact-finding mission to the Dodo River communities and had visited Amatu cottage hospital built by Chevron and were returning to Warri in Delta State when they were seized by some armed men.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that they were released at Ekeni community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

It could not be ascertained if any ransom was paid before they were set free although the police spokesperson maintained that as a policy the police does not negotiate ransom with criminals.

The kidnappers had earlier demanded a N20 million ransom.

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