Bandits Kidnap Nigerian Customs Officer, Demands N10million Ransome

Notorious bandits on Friday invaded the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State and abducted a Nigeria Customs Service official; Mahassan Lawali.

The bandits have reportedly made contact with family of the affected officer and made a demand of N10million, saying that the victim has more than N100million in his accounts.

The bandits were suspected to be from the camp of notorious banditry kingpin, Ada Aleru.

The bandits, numbering about 50, made their way into the local government headquarters, Tsafe, Friday morning and abducted the victim.

Mr Lawali, an accountant at the Kano – Jigawa Command of the Service, was abducted while spending the weekend with his family in Tsafe.

The victim’s younger brother, Salim Tsafe, narrated to an online news platform; Premium Times, that the bandits surrounded the house during the operation.

“Three of them went into the main house and abducted him. A friend who lives there was tied down by the bandits and had all his phone taken away from him but when they brought Alhaji, they released my friend and went with Alhaji,” he said.

Another resident of Tsafe, Abubakar Bala, said it was obvious Mr Lawali was the target of the attack.

“They didn’t shoot anyone during the attack but some of them fired several shots in the air obviously to scare residents. He (Mr Lawali) was picked in his house around 9 p.m. It is surprising how they could beat the security check points and reach the main town a few minutes after nine; it shows no one is secured,” he said.

Mr Bala, who said he knows and interacts with the abducted victim “very well”, said the bandits have reached out for ransom.

“I was told by some family members this evening (Sunday) that the bandits are demanding N10 million as ransom for the officer,” he said.

The family of the abducted officer have however said they could only afford N5million, a statement that reportedly angered the bandits and they have since switched off their phones.

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