Two Chinese expatriates working at a mining site in Ebonyi State have been abducted by unknown gunmen.
The abducted Chinese nationals are employees at Greenfield Metals Nigeria Limited, which specialises in lead and zinc mining.
The incident, it was gathered, happened at Ihietutu, Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Wednesday at a mining pit close to the company’s offices.
The Chairman of the company, Henry Ahanaotu, said the gunmen first shot sporadically into the air to scare away workers before proceeding to whisk away the expatriates.
According to him, the incident happened at the company’s mining pit at Ajirija mining site, 300 meters from the company’s Life Camp.
Mr Ahanaotu, who doubles as the Managing Director of the company, said a formal report on the incident has been lodged with the police command in the state.
He said the company has not made contact with the kidnappers.
“The unidentified persons bearing sophisticated arms stormed our mining pit at Ajirija and shot severally before whisking their victims away.
“We are yet to establish the identity of the abductors or where they came from.”, he said.
The Police spokesperson of the state, Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident.
Ms Odah said the victims were abducted on Wednesday at the mining site, adding that the police have commenced investigation into the incident.
“We got the information yesterday.
“A detachment of our tactical team was dispatched to the area with a view to unravelling the true situation and also to rescue the victims.
“The team is yet to return to furnish us with relevant information about the incident.
“But, I can confirm to you that we received a distress call from the area yesterday informing the police of an alleged abduction of two Chinese working in a mining site at Ihietutu in Ishiagu community.
“We are waiting for information from our men before we can make informed comments on the motive behind the alleged abduction.
“For now, we cannot say if the abduction was for ransom purposes or not because the abductors are yet to establish contacts with the company,” she said.
Ms Odah, however, urged non-Nigerian nationals working in any part of the state to ensure they move about with armed security guards to prevent attacks and molestations from criminals and possible kidnapping or abduction.
This is the second kidnapping involving the company this year.
In March, two Chinese expatriate staff were also abducted at the company’s Life Camp at Ugwuajirija.
They were later freed after the company allegedly paid an undisclosed amount of money as ransom.