, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 24 – Police have offered Sh3 million reward for information leading to the arrest of three men accused of abducting an Italian volunteer from Kilifi, in the coastal region.
A statement from Police Headquarters said, Sh1 million will be offered for the arrest of any of the three men identified as Ibrahim Adam Omar, Yusuf Kuno Adan and Said Adan Abdi—all said to be armed and dangerous.
“We consequently appeal to the public to inform the nearest police officer or police station should they see any of the three persons for further action. A cash reward of Sh1 million will be offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the suspects,” Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said in a statement issued Saturday.
An armed gang seized Silvia Romano, a volunteer with a charity, on Tuesday in Chakama, 60 kilometres (40 miles) inland from the coastal town of Malindi, an area popular with Italian tourists and expatriates.
The 23-year-old’s whereabouts are unknown.
Police have also asked owners of two motor cycles seized by police, and which are believed to have been used during the abduction of the Italian woman, to report to the nearest police station.
“The motorbikes were originally assembled by Auto Industries LTD in Nairobi, who then sold them to Malindi Coast Motorcycles of Jamhuri road in Malindi. The motorcycles were then sold to one Moses Suleiman Mbogo of ID NO, 21524176 and one Joseph Bakuna Kazungu of ID No. 21498255,” Boinnet said.
On Friday, police announced that they had arrested twenty people over the abduction of the Italian woman from a village in southeast Kenya.
“We have 17 people in custody. We have further arrested three other persons whom we consider as persons of interest to this investigation,” Inspector General Joseph Boinnet told reporters on Friday.
“They have given us very valuable information which has gone to assist the ongoing operation to trace and rescue the lady who was abducted by unknown persons,” he added.
The gang shot and wounded five people, including three children, while abducting Romano and escaped across the nearby Galana river.
A police manhunt has so far failed to find any trace of the kidnappers or Romano, who was volunteering for Italian charity Africa Milele Onlus.
Police are considering motives, including robbery, but some fear Romano could be smuggled north towards the Somalia border, where other abductees have been taken in the past.
A spate of abductions on the coast in 2011 saw a British man shot dead and his wife, Judith Tebbutt, kidnapped from a resort island.
Weeks later a French woman, Marie Dedieu, was abducted from her home on Manda island in the Lamu archipelago.
Both women ended up in Somalia, where Tebbutt was released after six months, while Dedieu died of ill health.
Gunmen from the Al Qaeda affiliated Shabaab militant group also abducted two Spanish aid workers in 2011 from the Dadaab refugee camp close to the Somali border.
“We have significant measure of optimism that we should be able to find the lady within the shortest time possible,” said Boinett, discussing Romano’s case.