Suspected kidnappers meet waterloo in Delta

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Oct 30, 2021 4:57 AM

Suspected kidnappers meet waterloo in Delta

By Ngozi Uwujare

They are accused of killing a police officer and kidnapping more than a dozen innocent Nigerians for ransom. But now, the alleged killers and kidnappers have landed in hot soup!

Police detectives of the Delta State Police Command have arrested more than ten notorious armed robbers and kidnappers fingered in the killing of a police officer and the abduction for ransom of more than 15 victims.

The arrested suspects, it was gathered, also raped female victims. As many as seven victims were reportedly rescued in their hideout camps scattered in Warri, Sapele, Ughelli and Agbor axis of Delta State.

The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Ali told Saturday Sun that the police detectives arrested five suspected armed robbers in September 2021. He said the armed robbers had killed a policeman on duty along the Warri-Sapele-Benin Expressway and Oshara.

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“It was via intelligence gathering that enabled the police detectives to clamp down on the criminals and raid all the criminal hideouts in Warri. They were able to arrest the five armed robbers and kidnappers on September 3, 2021. They also recovered five AK 47 rifles with 30 rounds of arms and ammunition and pump action rifles from them.

“Also, the police detectives had an encounter with the same gang. They had regrouped and they had a gun duel with our men and escaped with bullet wounds in their hideouts in the forest within the Warri axis,” CP Ali said.

Mr Ali further said that it was the same gang of armed robbers and kidnappers that had operated around April 2021 and attacked policemen who were on duty in Asaba. He said the gang did not succeed at the time, adding that they escaped when policemen dislodged them from the scene of the crime.

“The same armed robbers went and formed another gang and came with full force to kidnap two female victims along Benin/Sapele axis, and also demanded a N5 million ransom on June 26, 2021. Police operatives swung into action and dismantled their hideout in Sapele. The operatives rescued two female victims from their hideout. It was when they were waiting for ransom that the police operatives arrested the two suspected kidnappers from the forest and they confessed how they had kidnapped victims and lured them into their hideouts in Sapele,” the police boss told Saturday Sun.

CP Ali said that it was the same gang of kidnappers and armed robbers in July 2021 that kidnapped a 25-year-old female 200 Level student of College of Education Alvan Ikoku, Owerri. She was kidnapped inside the forest, blindfolded and was raped.

He said the kidnappers later demanded N5 million, but the victim’s relatives paid N250, 000.

He said it was after the payment that the police detectives from the Imo State Police Command and police detectives from Delta State Police Command jumped into action and rescued the female victim and arrested the three suspects on August 20, 2021.

He further disclosed that the police detectives rescued three female victims who were kidnapped in Ughelli on August 17, 2021 when they were on their way to work.

He explained that the victims were double-crossed by the criminals who thereafter took the ladies to their hideout and demanded N10 million as ransom.

“It was then that the police detectives swung into action and rescued them after the women had spent five days in their hideout,” he said.

He spoke further: “The police detectives raided their hideout and recovered seven AK 47 rifles and pump action rifle, locally made pistol and 20 rounds of ammunitions and cartridges from them.

“Meanwhile, the police operatives went to raid and search the criminals’ hideout in Warri axis and recovered police uniforms and army uniforms and shoes which they used to do their illegal operations. Also recovered were female victims’ clothes, pants, ladies’ shoes including their ATM card and assorted phones, cutlasses and chains.”

CP Ali explained further that the gang of armed robbers who waylaid passengers along the Benin/ Agbor Expressway, met their Waterloo when the policemen who were on a stop-and-search operation in that axis through information encountered the criminals after they had robbed the passengers on August 2021. The operatives intercepted the criminals and arrested five suspected robbers with their dane guns, charms and phone. 

“The suspects confessed that they had been involved in robbing passengers along Warri/ Port Harcourt Expressway and Sapele/Benin Expressway. The police worked on information that prompted the carrying out of the operation on Benin/Agbor Expressway.

“Also, the police detectives had intercepted some gang of armed robbers who intercepted them within Ibusa and Isekulu axis and recovered some AK 47 rifles and cartridges which were suspected to be policemen’s rifles that had been stolen a month earlier during an encounter with the gunmen,” Ali said.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Delta State Police Command, Mr. Johnson Adenola said that the command had redeployed some police tactics team to flush out criminals and raid all the kidnappers’ hideouts in Ibusa, Ughelli other communities in the axis.

He said the police arrested another set of five armed robbers and kidnappers who had confessed to their involvement in the kidnapping of female victims and businessmen. 

Mr Adenola said that the commissioner, Mohammed Ali has ordered all the officers to move out to chase the criminals in their hideouts, adding that the operatives had been collaborating with the hunters’ group to smoke out criminals out of the state.

Saturday Sun had an encounter with one of the gang leaders, Gabriel Obi. He told the reporter: “I hail from Anambra State. We started armed robbery and kidnapping in 2020. We started our kidnapping in Anambra State and Imo State, but after we had an encounter with policemen in Anambra and Imo states, we moved to Delta State and formed another group. We kidnapped over 15 female victims including businessmen. We raped female victims while they were waiting for ransom.”

“Delta State has become too hot for us. When CP Mohammed Ali and his team didn’t give us space, we attacked and killed policemen who were on duty. We collected their AK 47 rifles and pump action and cartridges. It was when we had an encounter with policemen in Warri in our forest hideout where we kept our victims that some of our gang members were arrested. I have confessed to the police detectives, and I already took them to our hideout and they recovered policemen’s AK 47 rifles, pump action and cartridges from us.”

One of the victims, Ifeoma Elizabeth also spoke with the reporter. Her words: “I was kidnapped on my way to my office in Warri. I was taken to their hideout with five other criminals. They blindfolded me, collected my phone and called my parents and demanded N1million from them. My parents negotiated with them and they collected N500, 000, yet they still raped me. I was later released four days later. The police operatives tried their best yet the criminals kept moving from their hideouts.

“I was happy when I heard that the police detectives had arrested them and the suspects had confessed their evil act. All I want is that justice must be done.”

CP Mohammed praised members of the public for their cooperation. He said: “Their useful information prompted us to round up the criminals who were terrorising the state. I have warned the criminals to relocate from the state. The suspects will soon be charged to court.”

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