Expatriate employees could be
kidnap targets 

A German and two Filipinos were abducted from their tug boat on 23 June offshore the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The kidnappers demanded a large cash ransom from oil company Royal/Dutch Shell.

A Shell spokesman said the company refused to meet the kidnappers' cash demands and described the criminals as pirates.

“One of the Filipinos was released on Saturday and the two others were released yesterday,” said the spokesman in Lagos.

Delta state government officials negotiated a release but the Shell spokesman refused to give any details.

The first Filipino to be released has been handed over to his employers, Seabulk Limited, while the other two were due to be turned over to the contracting firm, later on Monday, said the spokesman.

Armed groups have seized foreign oil employees in the volatile Niger Delta, demanding huge ransoms in the past. None of the employees have been harmed.