AFRICA/NIGERIA - Two religious kidnapped in Plateau State: in Nigeria questions are being asked about the complicity in the banking sector for the payment of ransoms

Monday, 5 February 2024 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Two Claretian missionaries (Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) were kidnapped by armed men on the night of February 1 in Plateau state, central Nigeria: Father Ken Kanwa C.M.F., parish priest of St. Vincent De Paul Fier church, Panshin diocese of Plateau State, and his assistant Father Jude Nwachukwu C.M.F. In recent times, the scourge of kidnapping for extortion has been rampant across Nigeria. Priests and religious are kidnapped, but so are many other ordinary citizens. According to reports in the Nigerian press, a total of 3,620 people were kidnapped in 582 kidnapping cases between July 2022 and June last year. It is estimated that a total of at least 5 billion naira ransoms were requested, of which at least 302 million naira were actually paid. However, this figure could be higher because not all kidnappings were reported to the authorities. A criminal phenomenon in which the banks through which most ransoms are paid are involved at the highest levels. As reported in an article by The Nation newspaper, there are 133 million account holders in Nigeria, five million of which are fake. Banks use stolen identity cards from the deceased to open accounts that are used by kidnappers to receive ransom payments. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/2/2024)