The Nigeria Police Force says that a total of 84 notorious criminals have been arrested by its operatives in the past one month as part of ongoing implementation of a robust security action plan to protect citizens and critical national infrastructure across the country.
A total of 45 sophisticated firearms and ammunition, have also been recovered from suspects, including 1-GPMG, 1-LAR rifle, 17-AK47-rifles, two pump action rifles, 20 locally fabricated firearms, three single barrel guns, 9,899 live ammunition of different calibres, and 80 fake vehicle number plates.
Others include one Toyota Camry with registration number AA 792 HJA and one Toyota Corolla LE with registration number QAP 622 AA.
According to the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank MBA, the suspects were arrested for their involvement in series of violent crimes, including terrorism, banditry, kidnap for ransom, possession and proliferation of illegal weapons, armed robbery, unlawful production of vehicle number plates and so on.
Mba said while many of the suspects were arrested in follow-up on cases of violent crimes under investigations, many others were arrested after being subdued during gun duels with the police who took the battle to the doorsteps of the criminals.
According to Mba, notably amongst the cases is the arrest of four members of a notorious criminal gang responsible for carrying out some of the high-profile kidnap-for-ransom operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, and Plateau States.
“The suspects are Umar Abdullahi, 40; Yusuf Tanimu, 23; Mamuda Suleiman, 40 and Abubakar Yaro, 38.
“Investigations revealed that the gang is linked to series of kidnap-for-ransom crimes, including the kidnapping of some senior staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, family members of notable political appointees and business entrepreneurs in Kaduna State and other contiguous states,” Mba said.
Plot to kidnap Catholic priest foiled
He said investigations revealed that the suspects were at an advanced stage of their plans to kidnap a Catholic Bishop in Zaria, when they were apprehended.
“Investigations further revealed that the gang, in addition to its kidnapping enterprise, also supplies arms and ammunition to bandits at Birnin Gwarri, Kaduna State, Niger, Katsina and Zamfara states,” he said.
One General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), two A-47 rifles, 6,509 live ammunition were recovered from the syndicate during the operation.
Producers of fake AK-47 rifles, number plates, trans-border gunrunner nabbed
CP Mba also revealed that operatives busted a seven-man syndicate that specializes in the manufacturing and supplies of locally fabricated AK-47 rifles and ammunition to bandits in forests along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway and Funtua- Kankara expressway in Katisina State.
He gave the names of the suspects as: Dung Michael, 26; Dung James, 29; Bulus Iliya, 25; Markus Danladi, 25; and Danjuma Dachu, 25 –all from Jos South and Samaila Abdullahi, 45; from Toro in Bauchi State; Maek Danladi, 30 from Chukum, Kaduna State.
“In a similar vein, one Abubakar Mohammed (a.k.a Mallam Buzu) from Mali who is a transnational gun-runner was arrested by the police team in Tsamiya, a border town between Benin Republic and Nigeria.
“He was arrested with a GPMG ammunition chain drive with a holding capacity of 1,600 rounds of ammunition.”
The Force spokesman said further that three suspects responsible for production of fake vehicle number plates, including replicas of number plates of government, diplomatic and security agencies, were arrested.
According to Mba, the suspects supply the number plates to criminal elements who use the same to beat security checks during their operations.
A total of 80 such fake number plates were recovered from the gang.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has reassured citizens of the renewed commitment of the Force to the fight against crimes and criminality.
He called for sustained support for the police and the security community, as efforts are intensified to enhance public safety, peace and security.