Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested 39 suspects for a series of violent crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, arms trafficking and cybercrime.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, the exhibits recovered from the suspects include two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers, 13 AK-47 rifles, four locally made pistols, 58 wraps of dynamite, 769 AK-47 live ammunition, 14 AK-47 magazines, and 30 live cartridges.
Other incriminating items found on them include mobile phones and 157 SIM cards.
Notable among the cases, according to Mba, is the arrest of a four-man notorious trans-border arms smuggling syndicate in Cross River State.
The principal suspect, Ntui Lambert, 36, was arrested in possession of different sophisticated weapons, 58 wraps of explosive materials suspected to be dynamite and ammunition.
Lambert has a Nigerian father and Cameroonian mother.
“Further investigations by the police team revealed that the suspect engages in trans-border arms smuggling with his three other gang members who are members of a secessionist group in Cameroun,” Mba said.
He cited the arrest of one Yahaya Zakari (a.k.a Excellency), 46, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“Yahaya is a member of a cybercrime syndicate that specializes in stealing mobile phones of innocent citizens, and using their SIM cards to gain access to their bank accounts to carry out unauthorized financial transactions,” he said.
Other members of his gang are Shehu Aliyu, 22; Umar Abubakar, 42; and Abubakar Mohammed, 41.
A total of 157 SIM cards were recovered from the gang by the police team.
Mba also said that two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers were o recovered from one 78-year-old Okala Joseph in Makurdi, Benue State.
“Investigations revealed that the suspect is a middleman between criminal suppliers of the weapon and the end-users.
“He is currently assisting the police with vital information that will further help in breaking the supply chain and arresting other suspects,” the police spokesman said in a statement.
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has reassured citizens that the Force remains committed to ensuring that perpetrators of criminal acts are brought to book and justice served to their victims.
He enjoined members of the public to be vigilant and promptly report any suspicious act to the police.
The IGP also advised that citizens should exercise necessary caution in the use of their mobile phones, especially those with SIM cards linked to their bank accounts.
He said all the suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations.