A Chinese company involved in gold mining in the locality of Lamy-Pont in the Central African Republic has announced that it paid 60 million FCFA (about 120,000 US dollars) for the release of 10 of its workers who were abducted by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group at a gold mining site last week.
Sources said three of the abducted workers were moved to different places to avoid being spotted while one of the three was eventually released in Berberati, chief town of the Mambere-Kadei prefecture.
“The hostage freed in Berberati was only released after his senior brother who is a businessman paid three million FCFA (about 6,000 US dollars) ransom to the Russians,” a civil society source told HumAngle.
“The two others are still reported missing as their families do not know where they are being held.”
In a related development, a Mauritanian businessman based in Lamy-Pont was on Friday, Nov. 26, arrested by Russian mercenaries.
He was reported to have been violently attacked and tied with a rope to a tree by the Russians and was later taken to an unknown destination.
“It is not yet known whether he has been released after paying a ransom or if he is still being held by the Russians awaiting the payment of the ransom. He may also be dead by now,” a local source revealed.
Oppositions in the Central African Republic are already expressing concerns over the excesses of the Russians who, according to them, have taken over the country.
“The Russian mercenaries of Wagner Security Group are currently the rulers of the Central African Republic. They have totally taken the executive, judiciary, parliament, army, customs, water and forests, public security, in fact every component of government in the country hostage,” an opposition party activist who did not disclose his identity told HumAngle in Bangui.
“They arrest and free people as they want, they loot and rape women as they desire and all these with the tacit go-ahead of our national authorities.”
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