Pattaya Daily News

29 September 2010 :: 10:09:05 am 41317

Thai National Kidnapped in Niger Delta Healthy & Safe

A Thai oil industry worker kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria last week is safe and in good health according to Department of Employment Director General Jirasak Sukhonthachart.
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Bangkok, the 28th of September 2010: Identified as Mr. Yongyuth Meejairak [58], an oil industry welder for West African Ventures Ltd, he and 3 French co-workers were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria last week.

Working for the West African Ventures Company for over 10-years, Mr. Meejairak was on a 6-month working as an offshore oil pipe welder on a platform in the Deep Sea at the time of his disappearance.

Thailand’s Department of Employment Office (DEO) in cooperation with the Thai embassy in Nigeria and his employer have been communicating to assist Mr. Meejairak, with the terms of his release to be announced later this week.

Representatives of the DEO this week visited Mr. Meejairak’s family in his native province of Saraburi. A department spokesman claimed they appeared in good spirits and remained hopeful that he would be returned home safe.

Inside sources stipulate a ransom demand made by the offenders, one that it is reported the company will cover in order to secure the release of their workers.

French press quoted Nigerian Navy spokesman David Nabaida as saying that the four victims, three French nationals and Mr. Meejairak, were kidnapped in a nighttime raid on an oil platform off Bonny Island, Nigeria’s main export terminal.

“Everything is being done to ensure we rescue these people and we hope that will be soon,” Nabaida told AFP

At present, there are approximately 360 Thai nationals living and working in Nigeria, most are involved in the oil industry as offshore welders and maintenance crew.

Meanwhile, Gunmen have allegedly kidnapped 15 school children on their way to class at a private school near Nigeria’s oil-rich and restive southern delta, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

The kidnappers have apparently demanded more than $130,000 to release the children. The spokesman said he did not know the identities of the kidnappers or the hostages.

Nigeria’s southern region has long been plagued by violence from militants upset about the region’s unceasing poverty and from opportunistic criminal gangs targeting foreigners for kidnappings.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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