Ben Dunno, Warri
Four members of a notorious sea pirate gang, which specialises in ambushing passenger boats conveying traders along the Izon-Burutu waterways, were shot dead on Wednesday by mobile police escorts of the Delta State Government’s Waterways Security.
Investigations reveal that the gang had in the early hours of Wednesday, December 18, hijacked a fully loaded passenger boat headed to Burutu from Warri, and dispossessed the passengers, mostly petty traders, of their goods, cash and other personal belongings.
After a successful looting, the gang then proceeded to lay ambush on what they thought was another passenger boat along the same waterways, a vessel which, unbeknownst to them, contained armed plainclothes cops attached to the Delta State Government’s Waterways Security force.
The four-man robbery gang soon met their watery fate however when, while attempting to commandeer the boat, the police team opened fire on them, resulting in all four pirates sustaining severe bullet wounds.
They reportedly died while being rushed to the central hospital in Warri.
Locally made cut-to-size single and double barrel guns, with five live cartridges, were captured from the gang.
Other items seized include: one 75HP Yamaha engine and one 75HP engine powered speed boat, in addition to machetes, and travellers bags containing personal effects belonging to victims of the gang’s earlier operations.
A witness, who identified himself as Paul Vitalis, identified the gang as having earlier accosted a boat on which he had been a passenger at gun point along Burutu waterways, seizing passengers’ belongings and cash.
Reacting to the incident, the Burutu Police Area Commander, ACP Adepegba Kolawole, noted that, with the development, the Burutu waterways will enjoy relative peace, as the gang had been identified as one of the deadliest in the area.
He advised residents of the river districts to be bold in offering authorities useful information that could lead to more of such arrests of criminals in the area.