A suspected gang leader, Gbenga Yinka, alias Infinity, has narrated that he refused to carry out robbery operations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State because of his popularity in the state.
Infinity, arrested along with four of his suspected gang members, allegedly specialised in snatching cars exotic cars in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The other suspects are Prince Chinedu, John Chidiebere, Shawama Opkara and Anayo Victor.
The suspects were arrested by Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team.
The suspects were also accused of killing a policeman and making away with his rifle.
The operatives recovered one AK47 rifle with a magazine, containing 15 live ammunition, two locally made guns and three live cartridges.
The rifle was alleged to belong to the deceased policeman.
A police source said: “The gang was formed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by the gang leader, Infinity.
“The gang leader had recently relocated to Ibadan Oyo State, with the intention of snatching cars and moving them to Rivers State, where they had waiting buyers.”
The source further explained that members of the gang bought two locally made guns and seven live cartridges from a gun runner based in Ibadan just to upgrade their operations.
The source said: “The gang killed a policeman, whose identity IRT Operatives are still trying to unravel.
“The policeman was killed at Ikolaba area of Ibadan.
“After killing him, they took his service rifle.”
Infinity, 36, who is married with four children, said he was a secondary school dropout.
He said he was based in Port Harcourt.
He explained: “I’m a car dealer, but sometimes in May 2019, Customs Officers impounded two cars, which I had just bought from Cotonou, Benin Republic.
“They impounded them at Akure, Ondo State, while I was transporting them to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“I became broke and frustrated after that incident.
“I then met one of my gang members, Prince, in Bayelsa State.
“He suggested we should go into car snatching.
“I told him that I couldn’t snatch cars in Port Harcourt because I was very popular.
“I suggested that we should go to Ibadan, my home town, where I know there were many people using expensive cars.”
Prince bought into the idea and brought four other gang members and the gang was formed.
Infinity added: “I then bought two locally made guns from Baba-Ayoka in Sabo area of Ibadan at the rate of N70,000.
“He gave me seven live cartridges along with it.
“On our first operation, we accosted a man driving a Lexus Saloon car along Akala Road.
“We trailed him to a spot where the driver stopped to have some drink, and then we called out, pointed our guns at him and asked him to explain why he was dragging a land with his partner.”
Before the shocked victim could utter a word, Infinity and his gang snatched his car key from him and bundled him into the car.
He recounted: “People at the drinking spot didn’t know we were robbers.
“Since the car was registered, I suspected it would have a tracker in it.
“I instructed my men to keep the man in their custody until I took the car out of Oyo State, then they could release him.
“I left for Port Harcourt immediately with the car, and when I went to Osun State, successfully, I called my men to free him, but a few hours after, the car stopped moving.
“I had to abandon it.”
He said that a few days later, they snatched a Toyota Venza and while he was taking it to Port Harcourt, it was tracked to Ore Road.
He had to abandon that one too.
He said: “Since flashy, registered vehicles have trackers in them, we decided to start snatching unregistered vehicles.
“The first one we got was a Mercedes Benz GLK.
“We snatched it at Ibadan.
“I took and kept it successfully with a friend in Ikire, Osun State.
“We also robbed a 2005 model unregistered Toyota Camry, which I took to Port Harcourt successfully.
“On our next operation, we sighted an unregistered vehicle at Ikolaba area of Ibadan and while we were trailing it, we saw a policeman sitting idly with his AK47 rifle and decided to snatch it.
“Two of my gang members stepped down from our operational vehicle, approached the policeman and shot him dead.
“They collected his rifle.
“A few days later, we were arrested at the Gate area of Ibadan, while we were scouting for a vehicle to snatch.”