From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Cross River State Police Command has foiled a bank robbery attempt around Calabar Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), smashing a 9-man armed gang terrorising residents of some areas.
A security source revealed that the suspected bank robbery syndicate have been carrying out their nefarious operations around EPZ, Harbor road, Ikot Ansa and Esuk Utan axis in the last couple of weeks now.
The source further revealed that the suspects infiltrated one of the leading old-generation banks with the intent of carrying out robbery operations before the police burst their plans.
It was learnt that based on credible information the police deployed a tactical team to CEPZ and stormed the bank premises and arrested four of the robbery gang members.
Those arrested include Joshua Samuel,22, Innocent Edom 20, Samuel Okon, 28, and Mohammed Salisu, 29, while they were carrying out surveillance and waiting for the other five armed men to strike.
The suspects have confessed to being on an espionage mission and are part of the other gang members just as they had concluded plans to rob the bank.
Confirming the incident, the Commissioner of Police, CP Sule Balarabe, said: “We have them in our custody and we will go even deeper till we get others who are involved, we are leaving no stone unturned.
“We are definitely going to get the remaining members of the group because they have been terrorising residents of the metropolis, especially Ikot Ansa and Esuk Mba communities all in Calabar Municipality LGA of Cross River state.
“All the commanders of our tactical teams, DPOs are on red alert to deal decisively with criminal elements in any part of the state, within the ambit of the law and in the most professional manner.
“My officers and men have stepped up policing holistically across the length and breadth of the state.
“In achieving this task, the command has carried out massive deployment of personnel and tools in critical infrastructures recreational centres and directed aggressive vehicular/foot patrols before, during and after the festive season,” he said.
Similarly, the Command said that due to the security situation in the country, the use of fireworks have been banned, advising guardian/parents to caution their wards and children against its use.