After being kidnapped on Saturday in Nigeria, police rescued Italian soccer club player, and Nigerian native, Christian Obodo on Sunday night unharmed.
Warri, Delta state police spokesman Charles Muka said officers freed Obodo and arrested several of his suspected kidnappers, who had not even left the oil-producing state in Southern Nigeria.
Obodo had been on loan to the Italian Lecce club from Italy’s Udinese football club and the kidnappers had made contact with the international football player’s family in Warri shortly afterward abducting him, making a ransom demand of $187,500, Muka said.
Though Muka would not disclose what information they had, that led to finding Obodo, in the past the police have been known to use suspect’s phone transmissions to locate them, leading to speculation when the ransom call was made, it was able to be traced.
Kidnappings remain common in the Nigerian Delta, a region that provides about 2.4 million barrels of oil a day for Nigeria. Gangs and militants once only targeted foreign oil workers, but in recent years have increasingly gone after middle- and upper-class Nigerians there.
The kidnappers were traced to Isoko, just outside Warri, Delta State. No ransom was paid and reportedly 8 men were arrested in connection to the kidnapping.