Police rescue kidnapped Lebanese expatriates
Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase
The Bayelsa State Police Command said it rescued two Lebanese expatriates abducted by gunmen in the state on Thursday.
The two expatriates, Ibrahim Phrem and Sarkis Chmooni, were kidnapped at the riverside of Onuebum in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Unknown gunmen, armed with sophisticated weapons, were said to have come in two speed boats and stormed the site of Pache Nigeria Limited, a sand drilling company, shooting sporadically into the air to scare away people.
The gunmen, said to be eight in number, seized the expatriates, after killing two security operatives attached to them.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Asinim Butswat, said the expatriates were rescued on Thursday, June 25, at Okodi, a riverine community in Ogbia.
Butswat said, â€œOn 25 June, 2015, at about 3pm, the two Lebanese â€“ Ibrahim Abi Phrem and Sarkis Abi Chmooni, who were abducted on the 24 June, 2015, at Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State, were rescued.
â€œThey (victims) were abandoned by their abductors at Okodi riverine community in Ogbia Local Government Area due to the massive manhunt by the police.â€
â€œThey are hale and hearty and they have been reunited with their
families,â€ the police spokesman, who did not indicate whether ransom was paid before their rescue, stated in an electronic mail sent to Southern City Newson Friday.
Butswat had said immediately after the abduction, which claimed the lives of a sergeant and a corporal that the corpses of the two policemen had been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
According to him, â€œWe were able to recover one rifle. We have launched a massive manhunt for the kidnappers and their victims. The marine police have been alerted and we have also alerted the Joint Task Force.
â€œWe want Bayelsans to go about their legitimate duties without fear as the police are on top of the situation. We are committed to the protection of lives and property in the state,â€ he said.
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