Hyundai paid N30 million kidnap ransom for 6 of its workers – Bayelsa police

by Rachel Ogbu

Bayelsa state police have revealed that about N30 million was paid as ransom to free six Hyundai workers kidnapped in December, 2012.

South Korean firm Hyundai paid a ransom of £118,000 but the state police said they only learned of the ransom after capturing members of the criminal gang believed responsible.

Bayelsa state police commissioner Kingsley Omire said most of the suspected kidnappers were later arrested, including the leader. He told the police that a payment of N30 million had been made, with each gang member getting 3m. The man is said to have later escaped from custody.

“The police did not know a ransom was paid before the release,” the state police chief said.

Hyundai Heavy Industries has not commented on the reports.

According to foreign reports, it is rare for anyone to acknowledge ransoms paid to kidnappers in Nigeria.

Gunmen kidnapped the four South Korean and two Nigerian workers after storming a passenger boat on December 17, 2012.

They were released days later but South Korean officials declined to say whether they had paid a ransom.

Omire said that paying ransoms would only encourage more kidnapping and urged people to instead contact the police, saying they have freed several hostages.


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