Romanian Sailor Kidnapped In Nigerian Delta Released – Foreign Ministry

A Romanian sailor kidnapped in January in the Niger Delta was released, is in good health and is expected to return to Romania in the following days with the help of the Romanian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, the Romanian Foreign ministry said in a press release Sunday.

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Romanian Sailor Kidnapped In Nigerian Delta Released – Foreign Ministry

Romanian citizen Niculaie Popa was released Friday, three months after he was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Nigeria, the Nigerian online media reported Sunday. Popa, 48, who worked for a shipping company in Bonny Island, Rivers State, was kidnapped in January 2009.

Nigerian daily Guardian reported the Romanian was abandoned by kidnappers Friday morning near the river Bonny, where the State Security Service and the Joint Military Task Force went and picked him up. Popa was then turned to Romanian ambassador Marian Parjol.

The ambassador described kidnapping as a global problem but regretted that Nigeria has recorded the highest cases of kidnapping, which, he said, was damaging the image of the country, the paper wrote.

Popa said his kidnappers fed him local delicacies throughout his stay in the creek. Looking exhausted, the victim told local reporters that he was treated well while he was a hostage, but would never return to Nigeria. Popa told the press he was held at gunpoint at all time during the three months of his captivity.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed on January 21 the kidnapping of a Romanian citizen in Nigeria and said it was taking all necessary measures applicable in such situations.

Early January, gunmen in speedboats attacked an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped a Romanian crew member and damaged the tanker. The abduction was later claimed by one of the largest armed groups in southern Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

 

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