The Police on Wednesday said that 60 persons had been arrested over various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling.
Force spokesman, Frank Mba, who briefed newsmen in Abuja, said the suspects were apprehended in different parts of the North Central and North West geopolitical zones.
According to him, the suspects were arrested by Police operatives attached to the Special Tactical Squad and Intelligence Response Team.
Mba said that 11 AK47 Rifles, two Pump Action guns, three locally-made pistols, 12 Dane guns, two Revolver pistols, 10 live cartridges, 77 live ammunition and two vehicles were recovered from the suspects.
Also recovered from them were 160 rustled cattle, he added.
Mba said that the arrests, which were made between June 5 and 19, included the four suspects involved in the kidnap of the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission and his daughter.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the kidnappers, who abducted the UBEC boss, also killed his driver.
“The arrest of the four suspects was sequel to the massive manhunt launched to apprehend the fleeing members of the kidnap gang involved in the kidnap of UBEC Chairman,” Mba said.
The Police spokesman said members of the gang had fled after the death of their leader, Sumaila Sule, who died on May 18 as a result of bullet injuries sustained during a shootout with Police operatives.
Mba said that the Police had also intercepted trucks conveying 1,972 bags of grains and 208 bags of beans to bandits’ hideout in a forest in Zamfara.
“The interception will cut off food supply and hopefully neutralise the bandits’ potency,” he said.
Mba attributed the breakthroughs to the cooperation and support of members of the public, saying that such support had demonstrated Nigerians’ determination to support the Police toward restoring internal security.
One of the kidnap suspects, Abubakar Umar, revealed that he and other members of his gang made more than N200 million from kidnapping in the last six months.
Umar, who was described by the police as a “big time kidnapper”, gave Niger and Kebbi States as their area of operation.
Mba said: “Based on credible intelligence, a team of police operatives from IGP STS Minna sector, attached to Operation Puff Adder, under the command and supervision of DCP Kolo Yusuf, arrested a notorious armed bandit/kidnapping syndicate.
“The suspects are Abubakar Umar AKA Dogo Buba, Umar Mohammed, Usman Abubakar, and Shehu Mohammed at Kainji, Mariga Bangi and Tsaragi in Niger and Kwara States.
“The suspects confessed to series of kidnapping in Niger, Kebbi, Kwara and Osun states and collection of millions of naira from their victims as ransom before they release the suspect.”
Speaking specifically on Dogo, Mba said: “He is a big time kidnapper who operatives of STS arrested. The suspects within the span of the last six months has been involved in high level kidnappings missions and in his own words, his gang has raked in well over N200 million from various kidnap operations.”