The police in Rivers State said they have rescued eight passengers abducted recently by pirates in the state.
The police spokesperson in the State, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the rescue and arrest of one suspected pirate in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday.
He said the victims were taken forcefully from their passenger boat in two separate attacks along Bodo/Bonny waterways in the state.
“The eight victims, comprising five male and three female were abducted on September 7 and September 8 by pirates and kept in captivity.
“Their rescue was made possible by the intense pressure mounted on the kidnappers by operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit,” said Mr Omoni, a superintendent of police.
Mr Omoni said the anti-cultism unit of the police arrested the suspect, Baridula Gboro, 35, from the Bodo area in the Gokana Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect provided useful information to the police, including the identities of other gang members and the location the victims were kept, he said.
Mr Omoni said detectives were, thereafter, deployed to rescue the victims.
The abductors on sighting a team of police detectives abandoned their victims and fled, he said.
The victims have been released by the police so they could get medical attention, the spokesperson said.
“Efforts have been intensified to ensure the arrest of the remnants of the pirate gang as well as recover their weapons.
“The Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has directed an increased police presence on the Bodo/Bonny waterways with (a) focus to stemming further attacks and ensuring the safety of passengers,” Mr Omoni stated.
The police spokesperson advised passengers to avoid late-night journeys that could expose them to danger.
He called on marine transport operators to profile their members, alleging that some boat operators connive with pirates to aid the abduction of passengers.