The Police on Wednesday in Abuja paraded 39 suspects arrested for armed robbery, kidnapping and Cattle rustling, including three women who were arrested for gun running.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba who paraded the suspects in company of the Commander, Special Tactical Squad (STS), DCP Yusuf Kolo, described as ‘disturbing’, the incident of gun running which involved a Soldier’s wife who sent a half bag of rice from Kano to Yenegoa in Bayelsa state, only for security operatives to intercept the rice and discover it was ammunitions inside, covered with rice.
Speaking on the incident, 25 year old Eliena Yobe said her husband who is a Lance Corporal of the Nigerian Army serving in Zamfara state, called her and told her he was sending a half bag of rice which should be taken to Yenegoa to give to his mother.
He instructed the wife (Eliena) to send the rice through one Favour Bello who was traveling to Bayelsa to deliver the rice in Yenegoa, not knowing that there were other things inside the bag aside the rice until she got a call that Favour was arrested in Yenegoa and the bag contained ammunition.
Eliena said in the 7 years she has been married to her husband, she has never experienced such a thing and that she only followed her husband’s instruction out of trust and respect which made her not to check the contents inside.
On her part, Miss Favour Bello who is 21 years old and a student of FCE, Kano, said she was just told to deliver the half bag of rice to the relation of Mrs. Eliena in Yenegoa not knowing that it also contained ammunition.
She said that at the motor park in Yenegoa, when the bag was brought out of the vehicle, the ‘Agberos’ complained that it was too heavy for half bag of rice. She then asked them to open and check for themselves, only to see ammunition inside, which prompted her to shout ‘Jesus’.
Speaking further on the gunrunning incident, DCP Frank Mba said the bag contained 818 live ammunition adding that 718 units of the ammunition were for General Purpose Machine Guns while the rest were for AK 47 rifles.
Mba stated that 7 AK 47 rifles, 3 pump action guns and several camouflage uniforms of the Nigerian military were recovered from the different armed robbery and kidnapping gangs that were arrested.
One of the suspects, Moses Akano 29 years old, who is married with three children, confessed that he is a hardened car snatcher who had been arrested in the past and jailed.
He said, “I am a hip-hop artist. I and the person who introduced me to car snatching business stole 5 Golf cars and I was arrested and sent to jail. When I came out, I didn’t have anything to do, so I went back to car snatching because I was looking for money to release my album.
“I succeeded in snatching 2 other cars before I was caught again. The cars are Uber vehicles or Taxify vehicles. I normally drug their drinks and when they pass out; push them out of the vehicle. I normally sell the cars for #80,000 and #120,000 if it is a new car.
Another suspect, Musa Usman who specializes in snatching motorcycles, disclosed that he has successfully stolen between 30 and 40 motorcycles which he sells for between #50,000 and #70,000 depending on the brand and how new the motorcycle.
One of the kidnapping suspects, Umar Usman said his gang operates on Abuja-Kaduna-Niger-Birnin Gwari highway axis noting they his profession is kidnapping.He disclosed that in the period of 4 years that they have been operating, they have killed 7 of their victims while they collect ransom ranging from #1million to #500,000 for release of their victims.
He said the military camouflage with which they operate on the highways are usually provided by their leader which he did not mention.
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