N6 million was paid as ransom to free five construction workers.
The Bayelsa State Police Command on Thursday recovered part of the ransom paid by employees of five construction workers kidnapped on August 23.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Hilary Opara, who disclosed this to newsmen in Yenagoa said that three suspected kidnappers were also captured.
He said the command had recovered N1.45 million, part of the N6 million paid by Beks Nig. Ltd and Sidom Ltd for the release of their five abducted workers.
Mr. Opara said that the police command was working on a strategy to free the captives unharmed, while the management of both firms defied the advice of the police not to offer ransom.
“While we were perfecting our strategy, the companies defied our counsel not to pay any ransom for their release. The firms went ahead to offer the kidnappers six million naira but when the police got to their hideout, we arrested three of them and recovered part of the ransom.
“Invariably, their other members escaped with part of the loot but we are certainly going to close in on them, we are on their trail.
“We executed this operation in a very professional manner, without firing a shot, we apprehended the suspects just like fowls and this should send the right signal to criminals.
“They assume that the creek is a safe haven for their nefarious activities but I want to say without mincing words that they are no more safe,” Mr. Opara said
The construction workers were working on a shoreline protection project at Opuama Community in the Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa, with the police initially saying no ransom was paid for the release of the workers.
The police also paraded a suspected fake journalist who claimed to be working for Cable News Network (CNN). He is one of 21 suspected criminals arrested in the state in the past one month.
The suspected fake journalist, who identified himself as Paul Yempe, claimed to be a staff of Radio Rivers, contributing materials to CNN.
Mr. Opara said that the suspects would soon be charged to court.