Police in the Philippines have arrested two suspects in last month’s kidnapping of four people including a Norwegian man from a resort and yacht club where he was working. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the arrests were confirmed by the local mayor in Davao, Rodrigo Duterte.
Kjartan Sekkingstad, originally from Sotra on Norway’s west coast, was kidnapped along with two Canadian men and a Filipina woman from the Oceanview Resort on the island of Samal. Sekkingstad worked as a manager at the resort’s yacht club and is believed to have been seized along with the others when he tried to intervene.
The resort is located in Mindanao, which has been the site of unrest for years because of its Muslim guerrilla group Abu Sayyaf. News bureau NTB reported recently that police had found the boat believed to have been used in the kidnapping on the island of Jolo, known as base for the guerrillas.
No ransom demands have been made for the hostages and it remains unclear who is actually behind their seizure, the insurgents or criminals out for commercial gain. The hostages themselves have not been located.
ABS-CBN News in the Philippines reported that surveillance video of the armed kidnappers allowed police to identify at least one of the kidnappers, who also reportedly had local help. Norway’s foreign ministry has a special team working with authorities in the Philippines but said Tuesday they could report no new developments in the case.