Indications have emerged that the owners of Hyundai Heavy Industries paid N30m ransom to secure the release of four of its Korean workers from kidnapper’s den.
It would be recalled that on Monday, December 17, 2012, eight gunmen raided the firm’s site at Brass Local Government, Bayelsa State, and kidnapped Jong Ken, Hi Kim, Doo Lee, Joon Chae and a Nigerian, Austin Giwa.
However, the victims were released four days later at Azikoro Village in Yenagoa with the management of the company claiming that no ransom was paid for their release. It was widely reported in the media that the kidnappers released their hostage because ‘they are bad market’ despite initially demanding N200m ransom for their freedom.
This development was confirmed on Thursday in Yenagoa by Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Kingsley Omire. He said that the firm paid the ransom to the kidnappers without the police’s knowledge.
The CP said it was after the arrest of suspects linked to the incident, it was discovered that the firm had bowed to pressure from the hoodlums and parted with N30m.
He said the police initially arrested Romeo Egbo, Goodnews Amabebe, Dito Ologbo and Digiteme Itua a.k.a Seko in connection with the crime.
Omire said, “On interrogation three of the suspects voluntarily confessed to kidnapping the four Koreans and two Nigerians on December 17. They also disclosed to us that one Digiteme Itua alias Seko is the leader of the kidnap gang.
“Itua was arrested in his Odioma house in Brass at about 1.30am. One AK 47 rifle, 60 rounds of ammunition, a telescope and three magazines were recovered from his house.”
However, according to Mr. Omire, Itua and Egbo tricked the police and escaped.
He also said the suspects escaped after telling the police that they had concealed four AK47 rifles and several rounds of ammunition at Ogboinbiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government.