Scottish Oil Worker Kidnapped at Gunpoint Free After One Month Ordeal

Graphic for News Item: Scottish Oil Worker Kidnapped at Gunpoint Free After One Month Ordeal

Image: Niger Delata millitary personnel were involved in search

A Scottish oil worker held captive in Nigeria has been freed a month after armed men stormed his rig.

John Hiddleston, 65, was working on a rig in the Delta region when gunmen dragged him and two others, a Canadian and a Nigerian, into a swamp.

Nine people were injured in the attack which sparked a major military operation, with the Nigerian Army working with other security forces to locate the trio.

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The trio were found last week abandoned in a forest not far from where they were seized.

The Delta region produces the bulk of Nigeria’s crude oil and kidnappings for ransom are common. Last month, two Shell workers were freed after gunmen abducted them and killed their police guards. Armed groups have regularly resorted to violence in a bid to secure a bigger share of oil revenues for the region.

Mr Hiddleston, from Dumfriesshire, is still in Nigeria receiving medical treatment following his ordeal.

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The 65-year-old is married and has been working in the energy sector for more than 20 years.

Deputy superintendent Nnamdi Omoni, of Rivers State Police Command, said: “The men were rescued due to pressure on the gunmen by security agencies.

“All hands were on deck. There was an intense manhunt.

“Security forces have been working tirelessly to release them.

“We were tracking them. They were found in the forest close to where they had been kidnapped. The gunmen were not there.

“To the best of my knowledge there was no ransom.

“They are shaken because of the considerable trauma and what they suffered at the hands of their abductors.”

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The Foreign Office has confirmed Mr Hiddleston is freed, and a spokesman said his family was being supported.

He said: “We are in close contact with the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland officers are providing support to his family.

“We’re grateful to the Nigerian authorities for their role in negotiating his release.”

Platform owners Niger Delta Petroleum Resources said their security arrangements are being “enhanced.”

Canadian Dwight Sullivan and a local worker were the other men abducted from the installation.

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