Police Command in Ebonyi has confirmed the abduction of two Chinese expatriates working in a mining site in Ihietutu, Ishiagu in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi by unknown gunmen.
The abducted Chinese nationals are employees at Greenfield Metals Nigeria Limited which specialises in lead and zinc mining.
Mrs Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) confirmed the abduction in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) on Thursday in Abakaliki.
She said that the victims were allegedly abducted on Wednesday, June 3 at the mining site.
She, however, explained that the police were yet to establish the motive behind the abduction, adding that preliminary investigation had commenced.
She said: “We got the information yesterday, a detachment of our tactical team was despatched to the area with a view to unravelling the true situation and also to rescue the victims.
“The team is yet to return to furnish us with relevant information about the incident.
“But, I can confirm to you that we received a distress call from the area yesterday informing the police of an alleged abduction of two Chinese working in a mining site at Ihietutu in Ishiagu community.
“We are waiting for information from our men before we can make informed comments on the motive behind the alleged abduction.
“For now, we cannot say if the abduction was for ransom purposes or not because the abductors are yet to establish contacts with the company.”
She, however, urged non-Nigerian nationals working in any part of the state to ensure that they move about with armed security guards to prevent attacks and molestations from criminals and possible kidnapping or abduction.
Mr Henry Ahanaotu, the Chairman and Managing Director, Greenfield Metals, told NAN that the hoodlums abducted their victims at mining pit at ‘Ajirija’ mining site 300 meters from the company’s Life-Camp after shooting severally into the air to deter any resistance.
He said that a formal report on the incident had been lodged at the police command in the state, adding that the abductors were yet to establish contact with the company.
“The unidentified persons bearing sophisticated arms stormed our mining pit at Ajirija and shot severally before whisking their victims away.
“We are yet to establish the identity of the abductors or where they came from.
NAN recalls that kidnappers in March invaded the company’s Life-Camp at ‘Ugwuajirija’ and kidnapped two Chinese nationals, who later regained their freedom after an undisclosed amount of money was paid as ransom.