Oz and Kiwi expats kidnapped in Nigeria

Published:  23 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
A group of Australian and New Zealander expats working in Nigeria have been kidnapped at gunpoint by militants whilst being driven to work at a mine in Cross River State near Calabar City.

One New Zealander, four Australians and two Nigerians working for Perth-based Macmahon Holdings were victims of a violent attack during which the driver of their vehicle was shot dead. The kidnappers, believed to be members of a local militant group, took all seven men hostage, but the two Nigerians managed to escape.

Reports state the vehicle had a security escort, but no mention has been made of its whereabouts during or after the kidnapping and murder. A witness who saw the incident told police that a group of men came from under a bridge, shot the driver and dragged the victims away through the river.

Kidnapping is known to be a major risk for those working in Nigeria due to the number of violent militant groups active across the country. Security experts believe Australian companies simply do not understand the potential dangers of sending staff to work in oil, gas, mining and other such industries in Nigeria.

At present, according to the Nigerian government, no ransom demands have been made, although local police say they know where the men are being held. Foreigners are favourite targets for kidnapping as they and their employers are seen to be wealthy, although it’s possible the kidnappers may want to put pressure on the company to close down the mine.

New Zealander Bruce Klenner, kidnapped in 2007 from an oil rig the Niger Delta, fears the victims will be given a hard time whilst in captivity. Speaking of his own experience, he said his group were held in a hut deep in the jungle and fed spam and eggs, but were not mistreated as the ransom demand hinged on their being in good health when released. Even so, he added, it took me a long time to get over the experience.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive