USD 20m demanded for Germans held in Nigeria
16 June 2005, NAIROBI - Kidnappers holding two German oil workers captive in Nigeria's Niger Delta area have demanded a ransom of USD 20 million (EUR 16.6 million), it was reported on Thursday.
16 June 2005
NAIROBI - Kidnappers holding two German oil workers captive in Nigeria's Niger Delta area have demanded a ransom of USD 20 million (EUR 16.6 million), it was reported on Thursday.
The abductors are also reported to have demanded that multinational oil concern Shell step up efforts to assist the poverty-stricken local population.
"If the SPDC Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria does not comply immediately, we are going to take over all the oil installations," Nigeria daily This Day quoted a member of the kidnap gang as saying.
The two Germans, employees of a Mannheim-based company sub- contracted by Shell, were seized along with four Nigerian co-workers while travelling in a boat to a platform operated by the oil giant.
German embassy officials in Abuja have said they are in continuous contact with security forces and have not ruled out the possibility of negotiating with the captors.
A Briton, seized in the same area in a separate incident, was freed this week, the BBC reported. No confirmation on whether a ransom was paid or not was available.
Kidnappings for ransom happen regularly in the Niger Delta, where the bulk of the population lives below the breadline.
In extreme cases militant groups have occupied oil platforms to press their demands for a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth. The situation is further complicated by tensions between rival gangs who illegally tap oil pipelines.
Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer with a daily output of 2.3 million barrels.
Subject: German news