The Pakistanis, identified as Azeem Alikhan and Rehan Siddique, were kidnapped in Calabar on August 13 by a gang of kidnappers who were later picked up from their hotel hideouts in the Asari-Iso axis of the metropolis.
The abduction of the two Pakistanis is one out of the 14 high profile kidnap cases that had taken place in Cross River State since January 2017.
The Pakistanis were said to have been released without any ransom paid to the kidnappers.
A source, who craved anonymity, said one of the kidnappers was captured in a hotel close to a senator’s house in Asari-Iso, while the other was apprehended alongside his girlfriend in another hotel in the Obutong axis of Calabar.
Although the source said that the kidnappers had been handed over to the Special Anti-Robber Squad in the state Police Command headquarters in Calabar, PUNCHMetro learnt, on Tuesday, from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, that they were not in their custody.
Inuwa, who denied knowledge of the kidnap, simply said, “I have not seen the kidnappers. They are not with us.”
However, the source said, “The two Pakistanis were kidnapped on August 13 in Calabar and rescued on August 18 in the creeks of Asabanka in Idundu area of Akamkpa Local Government Area. It was not easy getting the kidnappers as they operated from different hotels in Calabar while their hostages were kept in the creeks.
“One of the kidnappers was caught in a hotel close to the residence of a popular senator in the Asari-Iso axis, while another was also captured in a hotel with his girlfriend in Obutong area. The operatives broke into his hotel room and were picked up. The security operatives were also led to other hotels for more arrests.
“It was the kidnappers that took the security operatives to the creek where the foreigners were kept. The youth leader of one of the communities in the area was involved and was arrested as one of the kidnappers. These kidnappers have been operating from hotels in Calabar since February.”
Efforts to speak with the State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, was not possible as his lines were switched off, but a top official of SARS, who craved anonymity, confirmed the development.