Operatives of the Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad, have arrested a total of 32 suspects for trans-border car theft, rape, complicity in crimes, such as: kidnapping, armed robbery, arms smuggling, illegal possession of weapons, trading in illicit drugs, among other crimes.
Among the arrested persons, were six (6) gang members, described by the police as ‘notorious criminals’ who allegedly have speciality in car theft.
The suspects said they have stolen cars in different parts of the country, particularly in Nasarawa, Port-Harcourt, FCT, Kebbi, and Zamfara states.
The stolen vehicles are afterwards, smuggled through international borders; and delivered to one Alhaji Garuba, (who is still at large), in Niger Republic.
In a statement signed by police spokesman, Frank Mba, on Tuesday, it was further revealed that,
“The modus operandi of the suspects include snatching the cars at gun point, and sometimes removing the cars from where parked especially crowded car parks like the Cinema, Church and Mosque.”
PRO Mba reiterated that,
“These cars are sold in neighbouring countries at give-away prices and sometimes delivered to Alhaji Garuba in exchange for illicit weapons. The INTERPOL unit of the Nigeria Police is already working with their counterparts in Niger Republic to arrest the fleeing suspects in order to bring them to book.”
Mba also stated that,
“… It is the arrest of one 27yrs-old Dayyabu Mohammed of Soba LGA of Kaduna State for illegal possession of five (5) AK47 rifles, and 250 rounds of AK47 ammunition that led to the arrest of others.
Suspect Mohammed was said to have been arrested, “during a crackdown on bandits, at Saminaka Forest in kaduna State, by operatives of STS”, and that, further “Investigation shows that Dayyabu Mohammed is an arms supplier to two (2) identified and wanted bandits in the North West, and North Central parts of the country. The two bandit kingpins are Yellow and Budderi.”
“Dayyabu Mohammed was intercepted while ferrying the weapons from Jos, Plateau State in a Golf-3 saloon car, to the Bandit in their hideouts, located in a forest at Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State.”
“Investigations by the Police team revealed that the Golf-3 saloon car was given to Dayyabu as his operational vehicle by one of the wanted bandits, with a promise that the full ownership of the vehicle will revert to him on completion of five successful arms delivery missions.”
Spokesperson Mba also confirmed,
“The arrest of the perpetrators of a recent deadly attack on travellers in the Tafa axis of the Kaduna – Abuja highway where two (2) women and their husbands were abducted by the criminals into the forest.
“The operatives of the Special Tactical Squad deployed to that area were quickly mobilized and went after the suspects to rescue the victims. The Police operatives eventually identified the hideout of the criminals, launched a rescue mission and successfully rescued the hostages, including the women, unhurt”, adding that,
“The operatives equally apprehended a gang of six; Mohammed Lawali, Suleiman Ibrahim, Mohammed Rebo, Bashir Audu, Monsoru Abubakar and Abubakar Hamidu, in connection with the attack on a Mosque in Mazakuka area in Mashegu LGA in Niger State where eighteen (18) people were reportedly killed, and more than thirty (30) abducted.”
He emphasized that,
“Investigations by the Police team revealed that the gang leader, Mohammed lawali and some of the gang members are escapees from the Lokoja correctional centre. Bashir Audu was arrested for his criminal role of supplying hard drugs to the gang. Two (2) AK47 rifles, three (3) fully-loaded magazines and various parcels of hard drugs were recovered from them.”
Frank Mba said,
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc while commending the team for the successful operations, assures the nation that the Force would continue to close-up on these criminal elements who pose threats to our national security. The IGP calls on members of the public who are victims of car theft to visit the STS office at Guzape, Abuja with proof of ownership to claim the vehicles bearing in mind that the colour, interior and vehicle number plate might have been tampered with.”
He submitted that,
“All the suspects will be arraigned in court, on completion of investigations.”