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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Police disrupt kidnapping plans, arrest three suspects in Abuja

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The police on Saturday said they had foiled plans by some kidnapping gangs to kidnap students and other citizens in Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said during a press conference in Abuja on Saturday that three members of the gangs have been arrested.

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He said the suspects were arrested on January 17 by Intelligence Response Team (IRT) officers following credible intelligence.

Adejobi said that on January 15 the IRT received credible information that a GSM number under surveillance belonging to one of the suspects called another GSM number, informing the recipient of a plan to carry out a kidnapping operation.

According to him, in the GSM conversation, the suspect also told the recipient that he had invited other kidnapping gangs and promised to carry out the operation with him.

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Adejobi said the suspect also telephoned another person, later found to be a member of the gang, informing him that an official in his custody was a very rich man with many assets.

He told the gang member not to release the official unless he paid a minimum ransom of N50 million.

According to him, in the same conversation, the suspect claimed that he was still guarding a polytechnic school in Niger State to kidnap students.

“Investigation has shown that the suspects have been involved in several kidnapping operations in the FCT, including some that occurred in the Bwari axis.

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“Our officers are intensifying their efforts to rescue kidnap victims from captivity and ensure that other members of the gang are arrested,” Adejobi said.

The force spokesperson said police officers also arrested a suspect on Thursday in Kaduna for armed robbery and kidnapping.

Adejobi said the arrest followed a report that a man was abducted by four armed men from his home in Abuja and taken away in their Hilux van, registered RBC 90 DL.

The four gunmen are said to have blocked their victim with their Mercedes Benz car.

“But their luck ran out when they were intercepted by police officers at a filling station in Kaduna where three of them escaped while one was arrested and the Hilux van was recovered.

“The victim was being taken to Kano but they stopped in Kaduna where they stripped him of his ATM cards and transferred N500,000 from his account,” he said.

He added that investigation had revealed that two of the four gunmen were based in Abuja.

Adejobi recalled that the suspect and his accomplices were previously arrested in November 2023 but were granted bail by an FCT High Court.

He denied that the alleged kidnapper was shot dead to cover up the investigation.

“We are here to correct some misinformation circulating on social media that the police have killed arrested suspects to silence some facts.

“With the inauguration of the Special Intelligence Team (SIS), the game has changed, there is no need to cover up for anyone or mislead Nigerians when we have cases like this.

“To those who have been spreading rumors on social media, listen carefully now.

READ ALSO: Police confirm kidnapping of travelers on Akure-Ikere highway

“The arrested suspect is still alive on a stretcher because he received a gunshot wound during the operation, but he is alive on a stretcher,” he said.

Adejobi said the suspect was arrested in Kaduna but handed over to the FCT Police Command for further investigation.

IRT police officers arrest 16 suspects

Meanwhile, the police spokesperson said officers from the IRT and the Anti-Violent Unit of the FCT Command have arrested 16 suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery, culpable homicide and other criminal offences.

He said all the suspects had given confessional statements and provided police officers with relevant information to ensure the arrest of other criminals.

Adejobi said five AK 47 rifles, 11 pistols, two pump-action pistols, one English-made Berretta pistol, 65 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition and seven rounds of live ammunition for the Berretta pistol were recovered from the suspects.

In a related development, the Police Commissioner in charge of SIS, Ben Igwe, said officers of the squad had been deployed in all areas of the FCT, including Bwari, which has witnessed a high level of kidnappings recently.

(YAYA)

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