A US citizen who was reported to be the victim of cyber-crime has been released by his captors in West Africa's Benin, almost a week after being abducted, local media reported Friday.

According to the United States embassy in the capital Cotonou, the man was abducted several days ago after travelling to the tiny West African country to meet acquaintances.

Local media had reported that the man was the victim of internet fraud.

“The story circulating in the press is that the American came to Cotonou to meet contacts he met on the internet,” said Alphonse Salye, a journalist in Cotonou.

“They later abducted him and demanded money,” Salye said.

The man was released on Friday after security forces tracked his whereabouts and persuaded his captors to let him go, reports said.

Internet fraud is common in Benin's neighbour Nigeria, and to a lesser degree elsewhere in West Africa's southern tropical belt. - Sapa-dpa