, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – Police have arrested three persons of interest Inspector General Joseph Boinnet says have bolstered an ongoing multi-agency operation to rescue an abducted Italian aid worker.
The three bring the number of persons arrested in relation to the abduction of Silvia Constanca Romano to 20 since the incident that occurred on Tuesday night in Chakama, Kilifi County.
“We’ve further arrested three persons who’ve given us very valuable information which has gone to assist the ongoing operation to trace and rescue the lady who was abducted,” Boinnet said on Friday.
“We’ve significant measure of optimism that we should be able to find the lady within the shortest time possible,” he said.
According to Boinnet, police are yet to narrow down on the motive of the attack and whether Al-Shabaab terrorists were behind it.
He said some witness accounts suggested the abductors may as well have been robbers who may have been seeking to obtain money from Romano.
“We’ve had folks who witnessed that incident happen say that the abductors demanded for money. We certainly cannot be certain as to who those persons were and why they abducted the lady,” the police chief said.
Boinnet said the ongoing multi-agency search operation has received significant support from the local community raising prospects of the apprehension of those behind the abduction of Romano.
“The multi-agency effort involving the police, military and wildlife rangers has received significant support from residents which we consider vital to the success of this exercise,” he pointed out.
The Tuesday night attack left five wounded as Romano, 23, was seized from a house she had been living in, in Chakama.
Romano, a manager with a non-governmental organization known as African Milele Onlus is reported to have been going to pick a power bank when the abductors attacked her.
Noah Mwivanda, Coast Regional Police Commander, on Thursday said two motorbikes believed to have been used by the attackers had been impounded as security agencies extended the search to Tana River and Taita Taveta counties.
He also said police were seeking one Said Abdi Adan who flee from the village following the Tuesday night incident.
Adan is said to have rented a house in Chakama where he lived with two unknown persons.