Soldiers, sailors and police are swarming around the Niger River Delta, looking for the kidnappers of oil workers, and members of oil stealing gangs. The four foreign oil workers have been held for three weeks, with their captors demanding $1.5 billion and other items. Some gang members have been arrested, but there are only rumors of getting the captives released. Meanwhile, oil production is down at least ten percent and the government exposed as not of in complete control of the oil region. The oil gangs are at war with the government, and have shown they can at least hold their own.
January 24, 2006: In Port Harcourt (in the Niger River Delta region), 30 gunmen arrived by speedboat, killed nine (8 police, 1 civilian) people while robbing a bank and the offices of an Italian oil company. The gangsters then escaped in their speedboats with some $22,000, firing their AK-47s as they fled.
January 22, 2006: Kidnappers issued a photo of their four foreign oil worker captives, proving they were alive.