Police confirms rescue of 5 foreigners, two Nigerians in Calabar

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The Cross River State Police Command has confirmed the rescue of five foreigners and two Nigerians kidnapped last week in Calabar, the state capital.

The foreigners – three Australians: Mark Gabberdy, Peter Zoutenbier and Jack Countentz; a South African, Wayne Smith, Jamal Khan from New Zealand, and their Nigerian colleagues, working for MacMahon Construction Company located at the Mfamosing Plant of the United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state, were on their way to work at about 6am on June 22.

The workers were accosted by the gunmen before the Idundu Bridge, although, they were escorted by a security pickup that reportedly had four armed policemen.

DAILY POST recalls that the Command on Thursday said it had launched an operation to rescue the construction workers.

The police spokesperson in the state, ASP Irene Ugbo, told newsmen last week that the command had deployed a team of intelligence officers to strategic places across the state to rescue the victims and arrest the kidnappers.

In a recent development, the state Commissioner of Police, CP, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, said the seven persons have been rescued.

The CP made this known on Sunday.

While addressing newsmen in the state, the CP said the kidnapped persons comprising 3 Australians, a New Zealander, a South African and 2 Nigerians, have been rescued unharmed, adding that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers.

The commissioner attributed the success of the rescue effort to effective collaboration between the police and other security agencies with support from the state government.

Meanwhile, another Australian identified as Tim Croot, and the driver of one of the vehicles, identified only as Henshaw, were said to have escaped, while another driver, Matthew, was reportedly killed.

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