The Police in Abuja have smashed an illegal arms manufacturing and distribution ring which has been in operation for the past seventeen (17) years and has resulted in the sales of several single Barrel and Dane guns criminal gangs for years.
Commissioner of Police, FCT Sadiq Abubakar Bello who made the disclosure on Friday, noted the three suspects, Philips John-the arms manufacturer, Onyegabueze Okpara, the arms distributor and John Bulus another supplier, were arrested at the arms manufacturing factory located in Zuba area of the FCT.
Recovered from Joseph Bulus after operatives raided his abode were one locally fabricated double barrel gun, two live 12 caliber cartridges, one single barrel firearm frame, two Dane guns and 58 empty cartridges shells.
On the part of Philip John, the police recovered from him, a locally fabricated revolver pistol cylinder, 4 Dane guns, 6 Dane guns muzzles, 5 gun muzzle spring, 6 single barrel fire arm frame and empty caliber cartridge shell.
Other recovering are 1 double barrel fire arm, 1 single barrel fire arm, 2 caliber live cartridge, 4 single barrel muzzles, 2 Dane gun hammer, 1 manual motor drill, 1 dice for retread and various implement used for manufacture of locally made weapons.
Recovered from Onyegabueze Okpara were three hundred and thirty-eight (338) live 12 caliber cartridges
Disclosing that the breakthrough was made after intelligence and discreet police investigation, CP Sadiq Bello said, “During interrogation, Philip John said stated that he has been doing the illicit business for 17 years and confessed that he sells fabricated single barrel guns to his clients at N20, 000 each while the Dane gun is sold for N10, 000.
According to Philips, he also services and repairs malfunctioning guns brought to his factory by his clients.
The CP said the supplier of the ammunition, Mr. Onyegabueze Okpara who disguises as a bicycle spare-parts dealer was arrested at Kwaita Market in possession of the exhibits which he carefully conceals and sells to criminals.
“In his statement, Okpara disclosed that he started the illicit business since 1907 and that he sells a pack of bullets containing 25 pieces of live cartridges for N12, 000, while single cartridge goes for N500. He further confessed that he gets supplies from Onitsha.
Joseph Bulus is the major link that connects the arms manufacturer, Philips John with potential buyers of the fabricated fire-arms.
When asked if he was aware that production of such arms were illegal and could be used to cause deadly damage, the manufacturer, Philips owned up saying he knew but sold the guns only to vigilantes.
He admitted being in the business for 17 year and said he did the job as there was no work for him to do and he has to feed.
In another development, CP Bello disclosed the arrest of one Benjamin Jatau during a stop and search operation at Dantata Bridge, Jabi, in possession of one revolver pistol and one locally made pistol with two rounds of live ammunition..
The exhibits were discovered by police during a search conducted on the bag the suspect was carrying while on transit from Jabi to Kabusa.
The suspect, who is an ex-convict, later confessed that the guns which he bought for N50, 000 were to be used for a major robbery operation around Kabusa and environs.
Also, the police have arrested four members of a notorious armed robbery gang terrorizing the Apo area of Abuja. They are Hashiru Isiaka of Kuruduma, Umar Adamu of Area 1, Tukur Bala also of area 1 and Bashiru Mohammed of Durumi area.
CP Bello said operatives of SARS while responding to a distress call about a robbery arrack at Apo round about at about 11.30pm, arrested one Umar Adamu at the scene while his cohorts fled on sighting the team.
“The suspects robbed and disposed the sum of N120, 000 from two of their victims. Three of his cohorts were later arrested by police detectives in the early hours of Thursday 21st September 2017 and the pistol used for the operation was recovered in the room of the gang leader (Hashimu Isiaka) located at Kuruduma village
The CP said all suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations just as he harped on synergy between the public and the police to fight criminality to a standstill in the FCT.
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