From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The police force headquarters in Abuja Wednesday paraded 84 suspected kidnappers, bandits, gun runners and other criminals terrorizing he peace of the country.
The suspects who were arrested in different parts of the country were found to be in possession of 45 sophisticated firearms and ammunition including 1-GPMG, 1-LAR rifle, 17-AK47 rifles, 2-Pump Action rifles, 20- locally fabricated firearms, 3-single barrel guns, 9899- live ammunition of different calibres, 80-fake vehicle number plates, one Toyota Camry with Reg. No. AA 792 HJA and 1-Toyota Corolla LE with Reg. No. QAP 622 AA, at the time of their arrest.
Parading the suspects before newsmen, force public relations officer Frank Mba, said the suspects among Malians, Nigerien and Nigerians were arrested for their involvement in series of violent crimes including terrorism, banditry, kidnap for ransom, possession and proliferation of illegal weapons, armed robbery, unlawful production of vehicle number plates among other crimes.
He said the suspects were arrested by men of the IGP Intelligence Response Team(IRT), and the Special Tactical Squad(STS), in its ongoing implementation of a robust security action plan to protect citizens and critical national infrastructure across the country.
According to him, While many of the suspects were arrested in follow-up on cases of violent crimes under investigations, many others were arrested after being subdued following gun duel with the police who took the battle to the doorsteps of the criminals.
Notably amongst the cases according to the FPRO, is the arrest of a four man notorious criminal gang responsible for carrying out some of the high-profile kidnap for ransom operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, and Plateau States.
The suspects Umar Abdullahi 40, of kali Kura village, Giwa LGA, Kaduna State, Yusuf Tanimu 23, of Kurena, Zaria, Kaduna State, Mamuda Suleiman, 40, of Barkin ladi, Plateau State and Abubakar Yaro, 38, from Wase village, Plateau State according to investigation are linked to series of kidnap for ransom crimes including the kidnapping of some senior staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, family members of notable political appointees and business entrepreneurs in Kaduna State and other contiguous State.
He said Investigations revealed that the suspects were at an advanced stage of operationalizing their plans to kidnap a Catholic Bishop in Zaria, when they were apprehended by the police.
He explained that the gang, in addition to their kidnapping business also supply arms and ammunition to Bandits at Birnin Gwarri, kaduna State, Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States and that One General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), two AK47 rifles, 6,509 live ammunition were recovered from the syndicate during the operation.
Continuing, Mba said that the Police team arrested a 7-man criminal syndicate that specializes in the manufacturing and supplies of locally fabricated AK-47 rifles and ammunition to bandits in forests along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway and funtua – kankara expressway in Katisina State. The suspects are; Dung Michael 26, Dung James 29, Bulus Iliya, 25, Markus Danladi 25, Danjuma Dachu, 25, all from Jos South and Samaila Abdullahi 45, from Toro in Bauchi State, Maek Danladi 30yrs from Chukum, Kaduna State.
“In a similar vein, one Abubakar Mohammed a.k.a Mallam Buzu from Mali who is a transnational gun-runner was arrested by the Police team in Tsamiya, a border town between Benin Republic and Nigeria. He was arrested with a GPMG ammunition chain drive with holding capacity of 1,600 rounds of ammunition.
“In addition, three suspects responsible for production of fake vehicle number plates including replica of number plates of government, diplomatic and security agencies were arrested. Investigations revealed that the suspects supply the number plates to criminal elements who use same to beat security checks during their operations. A total of eighty (80) fake number plates were recovered from the gang”.
He said all the suspects would be charged to court as soon investigations is concluded.