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.
Recall that US forces on Saturday October 31, rescued 27-year-old Walton after he was taken hostage by armed men in Niger Republic and held in the northern part of Nigeria.
Force spokesperson DSP Frank Mba, who confirmed the latest development in a statement on Thursday, December 10, said the suspects, Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, a.k.a Mallam and Aliyu Umaru, 23, a.k.a Kwatte Kusu, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on 25th November, 2020.
"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," the statement says.
Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team revealed 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.
Mba said 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."