The Nigerian Army yesterday said it had stepped up its operations through various training nationwide to prevent a possible spike in criminal activities during yuletide.
Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the army operations media coordinator, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Iliyasu said that the service had reenergised Operation MESA, Atilogwu Udo 1, Ayem Akpatuma 11 and Crocodile Smile IV to further strangulate and deny criminals freedom of action.
He said that multiple successes had been recorded in various areas of operation, adding that Atilogwu Udo 1 had continued to smash criminal syndicates across the South-East region.
According to him, troops at Uzouwani Local Government Area of Enugu State responded swiftly to a distress call regarding a car snatching incidence at Barracks road, Nsukka November 17.
“After a hot chase, the gallant troops recovered the snatched Mercedes Benz vehicle with registration number KADUNA BF 930 DKA and arrested one suspect. Keys of different car models and assorted charms were also recovered from the suspect.
“In a related incidence, on November 19, troops of 24 Survey Engineer Regiment, acting on credible information, successfully smashed an armed robbery syndicate terrorising Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
“Additionally, one stolen plasma television was recovered from the suspects,” he said.
Iliyasu also said that troops of 302 Artillery Regiment and 14 Field Engineer Regiment in conjunction with other security agencies busted a suspected notorious criminal gang at Nnewi town in Anambra on November 17. He said that 20 suspected criminals were arrested, including a notorious methamphetamine drug dealer during the sting operation.
He said that troops of 144 Battalion also arrested a suspected notorious car snatcher while attempting to steal a Toyota Camry saloon car during a Church service at Living Word Ministries Church in Aba.
According to him, items found on the suspect include a master key and other tools for gaining access to vehicles.
Iliyasu disclosed that troops of Operation MESA, under 1 Division Garrison, neutralised one bandit operating in Kajari Village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna.
He said that one AK 47 rifle and three rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition were recovered after the operation.
Similarly, the troops of 223 Battalion arrested two suspected kidnappers on November 20 in connection with a kidnap incidence around Ayu and Mugaba village of Danko Wasagu in Kebbi State, according to him.
“Also, troops of Operation MESA in Plateau arrested a suspect at Rock Haven area in Jos North on November 21, with a fabricated pistol and one live cartridge in his possession.
“On November 22, troops deployed at Ugya in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State encountered some bandits at Turunku Village.
“After the brief encounter, one bandit was neutralised while two others were arrested with one locally made gun and two cutlasses.”
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, assured Nigerians that troops of the army would continue to create a peaceful and conducive environment throughout Yuletide.