Nigerian security forces have freed two Russian sailors who were abducted from their vessel in the oil-producing Niger Delta a month ago, a senior security officer said on Thursday, September 9.
Members of the State Security Service [SSS] raided the kidnappers' hideout in the mangrove creeks of the Delta on Tuesday, September 7, according to Douglas Dogo, the security agency's director in Rivers state.
"We did not encounter any resistance. We also arrested the kidnappers' link man and recovered the $60,000 he had collected as ransom from the Russians' employers on behalf of the gang," Dogo said.
The Russians were snatched from their vessel near Bonny in Rivers state, southern Nigeria on Wednesday, August 11.
Hundreds of foreign oil workers and wealthy Nigerians have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta in recent years. Most have been released unharmed after payment of a ransom.
The criminality costs oil producers including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, millions of dollars a year in additional security measures.