Kidnapping in the mining and oil industry

Kidnapping in the mining and oil industry is very high in some African countries. Matthew Maguireo managed to return from the gruesome experience of kidnapping in the mining and oil industry of the Niger Delta.

The risks and possibilities of kidnappings are extremely high when travelling in Africa, especially when one is working in the mining and oil industry. Matthew Maguireo of Yanchep was working in Nigeria and held captive for nine gruelling months. When a man kicked in a door and started spraying AK47 around the room, missing Matthew’s foot by an inch, he thought this was the beginning of the end of his life.

The armed men walked in the room and robbed everything belonging to Matthew and other foreign key personnel and referred to them as “white gold”. The father of four was working in Nigeria when he was captured along with 27 other oil workers en-route to an oil rig in the Niger Delta and held hostage for nine months.

The men were taken deep into the jungle with speedboats, within 24 hours they were surrounded by more than 50 armed men cheering. Matthew and other international employees of the oil industry were held hostage by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Matthew, who is originally from the UK, later found out that he, along other oil workers were held hostage in exchange of the MEND leader Henry Okah who was arrested in Nigeria for arms trafficking.

For long nine months, Matthew was beaten, threatened with death and even forced to starve. Every day he woke up thinking about what he could do to survive, so he collected water from rain in discarded bottles to keep him alive. With his family not aware of his status and whether or not he was still alive, Matthew was continuously lied to about his release date. Taken by a speedboat to an island off the coast, Matthew was finally released after nine months of torture.

Kidnapping in the mining and oil industry are very high in countries like Nigeria and Niger and the locations usually include workplaces, hotels and transit. During our H.E.A.T courses we specialize in kidnapping in the mining and oil industry to equip key personnel travelling to high risk countries with the necessary tools and knowledge to survive.



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