Argentinian kidnapped in Nigeria released: police

Nigerian-Police-logoAn Argentinian who was kidnapped by gunmen near a farm where he was working in Nigeria’s Niger state has been released, a police spokesman said on Monday.

Santiago Lopez Menendez was set free by his abductors on Saturday morning, Bala Elkana, police spokesman in the north central state, told AFP by telephone.

Menendez was seized last Wednesday in the town of Machagu as he travelled on the Mokwa to Kontagora road in the west of the state, where there have been previous abductions by criminals.

“He was released by his abductors early Saturday morning. He was hale and hearty when we saw him after his release. He has since returned to his farm,” said Elkana.

The spokesman said he was not aware if any ransom was paid.

Foreigners working on farms and elsewhere in Niger state are normally given police protection but Menendez was travelling alone when he was snatched, state police commissioner Olusola Amore said.

The South American, an agronomist, worked for Nigerian Flour Mills Plc managing two farms in the Sunti and Kabbugi districts of Niger state.

Kidnapping of foreigners for ransom is common in the oil-rich southern part of Nigeria, with victims usually released unharmed once a ransom is paid.

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