LAGOS (AFP) – A Briton abducted last week in Lagos has been released in an incident believed to be a ransom kidnapping, police and the British government said Thursday.
“The man was released on Tuesday night,” Lagos police spokeswoman Ngozi Braide told AFP, though the British government said he was freed on Wednesday.
She could not say if a ransom was paid.
Britain confirmed the release in its travel advice for Nigeria, saying that “a British national was kidnapped on Victoria Island, Lagos on 23 March and subsequently released on 27 March.”
No further details were provided, though Britain listed the incident under “criminal kidnaps” rather than “terrorist kidnaps,” indicating the motive was cash.
The man was abducted in the upscale Victoria Island neighbourhood of the city.
A security report provided to AFP by a source with knowledge of the case said he worked for French company CGG, a geophysics firm that works in the oil industry.
Although such incidents are relatively rare in Lagos, a city of some 15 million people, kidnappings for ransom occur regularly in the oil-producing Niger Delta region and other parts of the south.
Islamist extremists have also carried out abductions in the country’s north, where the Ansaru group recently claimed to have executed seven foreign hostages.