Three South African Sun International employees detained in Nigeria

Sun International claims Nigeria has been holding staff since last Thursday without formally charging them.

Picture Twitter @MillionThrills.

JOHANNESBURG - Sun International has told Eyewitness News four of its employees - three of whom are South African - are being detained by Nigerian authorities.

The hotel group claims Nigeria's economic and financial crimes commission has been holding its staff since last Thursday without formally charging them.

Sun International officials say the detentions could be linked to labour action and an unrelated dispute involving shareholders who own a stake in an entity called tourist company Nigeria.

The organisation's Michael Farr said, "We are concentrating all our efforts into what is of immediate concern to us and that is our employees who are looking to enter a fifth night in prison without being charged for any wrongdoing."

The International Relations Department has declined to comment on the detentions at this stage.

In 2006, Sun International purchased 49.3 percent of the Nigerian Stock Exchange listed Company Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc (TCN), making it the largest single shareholder.

The purchase was approved by the directors and shareholders of TCN and all required regulatory approvals were obtained.

Over recent years, Sun International has been drawn into a long standing family dispute between its fellow shareholders, the Ibru family that between them control a 49 percent share in TCN.

During the industrial action, the two Unions which represent the staff who work at the hotel behaved in a very aggressive manner and invoked various methods of intimidation.