By Kenneth Ehigiator
The police at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, has arrested the kidnappers who abducted two female Nigerian students studying in Malaysia, while waiting for their flight.
It also arrested thieves who broke into the warehouse of the National Aviation Cargo Handling Company Plc (nahcoaviance) at the airport and made away with two plasma television sets, 21 expensive wristwatches, and seven automatic electric door handles/keys.
The commissioner in charge of airport police command, Mr. Danazumi Doma, who disclosed news of the kidnap in Lagos Today (Monday), said the two students were held for about five days before their release was secured.
He explained that the two students had gone out of the airport terminal building to buy some conveniences, when they were accosted by two men who bundled them to an unknown destination.
According to him, the kidnappers collected the mobile handsets of their victims to prevent them from getting across to anyone.
He said: “As soon as they took the girls to a safe place, they called their parents asking for a ransom of $15 million. Father of one of the girls is an engineer with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), while father of the second girl is a staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Kaduna.
“It was the FAAN engineer who cried to us that his daughter and her friend had been kidnapped and we followed up the lead. From $15 million, the kidnappers came down to N1 million for the FAAN staff and N1.3 million from the NNPC staff.”
The commissioner said parents of the kidnapped girls were encouraged by his men to play along the kidnappers who asked that the ransom be paid into an account in Lagos, from where it would be transferred to Malaysia.
According to him, the kidnappers successfully collected the first N1 million that was paid into the designated account and it was at the point of collecting the N1.3 million that the suspects were arrested.
He said the command had, however, recovered the N1 million the kidnappers collected from the parents of one of the girls.
The police commissioner, who disclosed that the kidnap occurred last month, said the command was in touch with the International Police Organisation (Interpol) to track down their international collaborators in Malaysia, adding that those arrested here would soon be charged to court.
“We are in touch with Interpol and they have promised to help track down members of the kidnap syndicate in Malaysia, but the ones we have arrested here would soon appear in court. We have the N1 million ransom paid to the kidnappers and we intend to use it as exhibit in court,” he said.
Doma also said the command arrested thieves who connived with a NAHCO staff to break into the warehouse of NAHCo at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, stealing two plasma television sets, 100 packets of new Nokia 5300 handsets, 21 expensive wristwatches and seven automatic electric door handles/keys.
The commissioner, who displayed the stolen items before newsmen, said all the items were recovered by the police, adding that the suspects would soon be charged to court.