From: GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, OWERRI
In its determination to eradicate kidnapping the state, Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, in the early hours of Tuesday, led a tactical operation of the anti-kidnapping unit to rescue three kidnap victims being held for ransom in Avu forest located in Owerri west council of the state.
This was just as he disclosed that the Operation ” Comb the Forest” would be intensified as the command is determined to run kidnappers and criminals of out the state.
Ezike gave the names of the arrested suspects as Chukwuebuka Augustine, 22 from Egbeada Owerri, Romanus Ukabi 28, from Isiagwu Ebonyi state, Ikechukwu Nwachukwu, 34, from Ezinihitte Mbaise, Chikamso Onyewuchi, 25, from Ejemekuru in Oguta council. Others includes Collins Nwaekwe,24 of Obizi Aboh Mbaise, Chibuike Maduba,26 of Umukoronekwenye in Ngor Okpala and Ikechukwu Okere of Umukoronopelu in Ngor Okpala.
According to the Imo police boss, ” In the early hours of today between 0200 hours and 02:30hours the anti kidnapping unit stormed a hideout in Avu forest in Owerri West council area of Imo state in an effort to rescue three victims who were kidnapped last Saturday. During the bush combing operation, the operatives were confronted by a gang of kidnap suspects who were holding them for ransom. In the heated operation seven suspects who were over powered and arrested”.
Ezike disclosed that the rescued victims were Francis Okere from Awaka in Owerri North, Ahanonu Chika and who abducted along side Chibuike Nwaozo and that they were tied and blindfolded in the forest by their captors before they were rescued.
The Imo Police Boss further revealed that one Ash Colour Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to one the victims which was used in the abducting the other victims was recovered at the forest. Other exhibits recovered two matchets, four GSM handsets belonging to the victims,two wraps of Indian hemp, pieces of cloth used in Blindfolding and three empty bottles hot drinks.