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Kidnapped Briton found in Aceh

Man released after snatch by armed group

Indonesian authorities have found kidnapped British engineer Malcolm Primrose. The 61-year-old was discovered in good health early today in Alur Pol village, East Aceh.

Primrose was taken to a police station in nearby Rantau Peurelak for a medical checkup and further questioning. The British embassy confirmed his safe return.

"We are delighted to confirm that Malcolm Primrose has been released. Embassy officials are with Mr Primrose and are providing consular assistance,” an embassy statement said.

It added that it had received strong cooperation from Indonesian authorities.

Primrose, a senior drilling supervisor with oil and gas company Medco E&P Malaka, was abducted by six gunmen on Tuesday while returning home from drilling sites near a village in East Aceh, in the restive Aceh province.

The motive for the abduction is unclear. The BBC reported that: “Officials there believe the motive for the kidnapping was a grudge against the Indonesian company Mr Primrose worked for, Medco Exploration and Production.”

It said that in an earlier telephone conversation between local police and Primrose, the kidnappers had demanded a ransom, but no money exchanged hands.

Aceh is a predominantly Muslim province with a long history of separatist violence. Although the Helsinki Accord signed in 2005 brought the violence largely to a close, sporadic unrest continues.

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