Sources tell The Africa Report that the workers left the office after the close of work around 6 p.m. on 26 June and boarded a boat at a jetty on the island. They have not been seen since.
“We believe they were kidnapped by gunmen because the boat did not capsize and it has been found around Ikorodu, a suburb in Lagos,” said a security official who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
Nigerian policy spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed the development but declined to provide further details.
So far it appears no one has reached out to the family for ransom.
“As of 4 p.m. on 27 June, no one has contacted the family,” said a worried relative.
The kidnapping of oil workers is commonplace in Nigeria, where expatriates are usually abducted for huge ransoms. Such crimes however have largely been limited to the volatile Niger Delta region, where oil exploration activities take place.
Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city and commercial capital, has a high rate of armed robbery but mass kidnappings are rare.
Several armed groups in the Niger Delta have resorted to taking foreign employees of oil firms hostage. Hundreds of oil workers have been abducted with millions of dollars received as ransom, including employees of Shell, Saipem and Chevron.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc started marketing of petroleum products in Nigeria in 1913 under the Texaco brand name.
In 2009, a consortium of MRS Holdings and Petroci Holdings bought majority stake from Chevron Oil and Gas to form MRS Oil Nigeria Plc.
Headed by businessman Sayyu Dantata, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is a Nigerian oil marketing company whose headquarters are in Lagos.
MRS Oil has three business units: Sale of petroleum at retail outlets or to industries; sale of aviation fuel; and blending of lubricants.
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