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Cablegate: Criminal Incident in Close Proximity to Chancery

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: On Friday, May 18, 2001 at approximately
2000 hours an armed car-jacking occurred in close proximity
to the Chancery compound. End Summary

2. (U) The car-jacking occurred in front of the official
residence belonging to the Government of Nigeria (GON)
Minister of Aviation, located two blocks from the Chancery
compound. The vehicle car-jacked, a late model Toyota Land
Cruiser sport utility vehicle, belonged to a Nigerian
citizen visiting the Minister of Aviation residence. The
car-jacking occurred after the driver dropped the owner of
the vehicle in front of the Minister residence. The
driver remained in the vehicle outside the Minister
residence, where he
was approached by at least two local
male subjects driving a white Peugeot 505 (no further
information). The male subjects ordered the driver of the
Land Cruiser to drive away from the area at gunpoint,
directing him to remote area of Abuja. The male subjects
ordered the driver to remove his clothing, before fleeing
with the vehicle and the driver clothing

3. (U) The incident was reported to the police by the
owner of the vehicle after he came out of the Minster's
residence, and could not locate his vehicle and driver.
The driver later provided additional details regarding the
incident. The Nigeria Police Force has established a
presence on the one street entering the area, consisting of
a tent, patrol car and officers.

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4. (U) The incident occurred on the same street as the
Chancery, beyond the view of the local guard force, but in
an area where Embassy employees park POVs. The section of
the street passing in front of the Embassy compound is
secured by anti-ram drop-arm barriers. The local guard
force personnel reported neither the robber Peugeot 505
nor the stolen Land Cruiser passed through the closed
portion of the street. While the local guard force and
Nigerian Police presence likely deters criminals from
operating right in front of the Embassy, the knowledge of a
significant armed police presence about 100 yards away did
nothing to deter these criminals in this case.

5. (U) The RSO has sent all Mission personnel a security
advisory regarding the incident. The security posture at
the Chancery compound is good, due to the presence of the
local guard force and Nigerian Police personnel posted
immediately outside the Chancery. During the core working
hours, there is also a plainclothes surveillance detection
presence working the area around the chancery. During non-
working hours the surveillance detection guards are
assigned to Post residential compounds.

6. (U) However, the local guard force presence is
inadequate to cover areas beyond the drop arm barrier
gates. Many mission employees (including USDH) are forced
to park in areas away from the Embassy compound and beyond
the line of local guards' sight. The RSO is considering
additional local guard force personnel to ensure the
security of Mission personnel walking to/from their

7. (U) Direct any questions regarding the above matter to
Michael E. Bishop, RSO, U.S. Embassy Abuja, Nigeria at 234-


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