Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hostages' families had paid kidnappers £1m: Deal to release Briton and Italian held in Nigeria 'was very close after £4m ransom demand agreed'

The families of British construction worker Chris McManus and an Italian hostage had paid £1million to secure their release, it was claimed last night.

Reports in the Italian media claimed the money was a down payment on a £4million ransom demand by terrorists in Nigeria who executed Mr McManus and colleague Franco Lamolinara during a daring raid by the Special Boat Service.

There was no indication as to whether Mr McManus’s family had paid the money themselves.

The family of Mr Lamolinara, 47, were said to have been ‘quietly optimistic’ that he would be home by Easter after being briefed by Italian officials last week.

There were also said to be high hopes his colleague Mr McManus, 28, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, would be freed, too. Read More