Two men alleged to have stolen the corpse of an elderly woman and held the body for ransom in south-eastern Nigeria have been arrested by the police.

Police from Oweri, the capital of Imo state, say the men stole the body from a hospital’s mortuary, took it into the bush and demanded a ransom of 4m naira ($11,000; £8,400) from the hospital and the family of the deceased, according to the police.

The suspects, who are ex-convicts, were caught in a sting operation and the body has since been returned to the family.

The men were recently released from jail after serving six and 14 years respectively on kidnapping charges.