Pirates on Monday morning kidnapped four immigration officers along the Bonny waterways in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The immigration officials, it was learnt, were on their way to Port Harcourt on an official assignment when they were suddenly double-crossed by the heavily armed hoodlums who whisked them away.
It was learnt that the assailants, numbering up to 10 were all masked and in black attire during the operation said to have lasted for less than five minutes.
The pirates were also said to have shot indiscriminately as they took their victims away to an unknown destination through the Bonny waterways.
“Yes, I got the information from the security formation in the area that they (immigration officers) were four in number and I was told that the pirates wore black attire during the attack,” a source from Bonny LGA said.
“We do not know yet if the attack was an act of sabotage, but we have been campaigning against the continued kidnapping along our waterways. Now, it appears to have become worse.”
Another source from the area, told our correspondent that the pirates’ earlier attempt to hijack a passenger boat failed, because the speedboat carrying the bandits was far away from them (passengers).
The source explained that the victims were in a chartered boat when they were taken away by their assailants, adding that the hoodlums transferred the immigration officers to their boat and allowed the driver to go.
The source said, “Gunmen today (Monday) abducted four immigration officials who were travelling from Bonny to Port Harcourt in a charted speedboat. The victims were attacked close to Onne by the assailants who came in a 200hp speedboat.
“The boat driver was manhandled and abandoned in the creek while the victims were taken away to unknown destination.”
The state Comptroller of Immigration, Rasheed Adegoke, told The PUNCH that he had not being briefed about the abduction of the four officers of the outfit.
However, efforts made to reach spokesman for the police in the state Nnamdi Omoni for comment was not successful as several calls to his phone indicated that he could not be reached.