In furtherance of Operation Puff Adder, launched by the Inspector General of Police to checkmate criminality across the country, Police Special Forces comprising the DCP Abba Kyari led IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the DCP Kolo Yusuf led IGP Special Tactical Squad (STS) have busted several kidnapping gangs and armed bandits responsible for killing and abducting scores of people along Kaduna Abuja road, Birnin Gwari Katsina road and Birnin Gwari Kaduna Minna roads.
Consequently, 61 suspects comprising 30 kidnappers and 31 armed robbers, armed bandits and gun runners who were arrested in the operations were paraded at Katari Division headquarters in Kaduna on Monday.
The busting and arrest of the kidnapping and armed robbery gangs as well as armed bandits followed the resurgence of deadly criminal activities which has led to killing of more than 30 people and abduction of over 70 people along the major highways in the last three weeks.
Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba while parading the suspects, said a total of 31 assorted weapons were recovered from the gangs.
They include 10 AK 47 rifles, 9 AK 49 rifles, one unit of the latest Kalashnikov rifle known as the AK Fatney, Pump Action guns, Barrett’s pistol, 345 live cartridges, 469 rounds of live AK 47 and AK 49 ammunitions.
The Force PRO also paraded a motorcycle used for smuggling arms and ammunition caught with 2 AK 47 rifles and 150 rounds of live ammunition hidden of it.
Several of the suspects who spoke said they see kidnapping as a job noting that when they are sent on the job, they are provided with weapons particularly AK 47 rifles and after the job, they are paid off and the weapons retrieved from them.
One kidnapper (Saidu) said he and other members plotted and kidnapped the son of a woman living in the same neighbourhood, leading yo the mother of the kidnapped boy developing an heart attack and leading to her death.
He (Saidu) stated that after the gang collected the sum of #6million ransom for the boy’s release, he was part of those that attended the burial of the late woman.
He said he got #200, 000 payment and that the Police later arrested him and 3 members of the gang while 2 others are still at large.
Another gang said they were arrested while planning to kidnap Modibo, the Chairman of a Local Government Area in Kaduna (Kagara).
Ibrahim Suleiman said his gang were sent by ‘Yellow’, their leader who resides in a Zamfara forest to take a letter to Modibo to pay the sum of #40million or risk being kidnapped. But cut to Police intervention, they were arrested.
He said another gang were still out to kidnap Modibo for Yellow until he pays the #40million adding that Yellow has already made a phone call to the LGA Chairman to that effect.
One group said they usually operate in Niger, Abuja, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states. He said their leader called ‘Wetti’ usually provides the gang with 13 AK 47 rifles and tells them he usually gets the arms from Niger Republic.
33 years old Aliyu Fara, another kidnapper said his gang operates in Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states.
Sumaila Ila Baleri, another kidnapper said he works for Yellow. He said his gang was provided with 8 AK 47 rifles.
“We kidnapped one Alhaji Mayake, his wife and his children. We collected #4million ransom. But the victims, apart from Mayake are still with Yellow in the Zamfara forest.
The Force PRO also disclosed that new Police patrol vehicles and other equipment including the mobile CCTV cameras and safer highway equipment have been distributed to Police formations across the country to enhance crime fighting and prevention efforts.
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