June 18, 2009

Police smash suspected bank robbery gang

By Albert Akpor, Evelyn Usman & Ifeanyi Okolie
Operatives at the Zone II Police Command headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, have smashed a notorious robbery gang suspected to have been behind several bank robbery operations in Lagos and some eastern parts of the country.

This is just as the zone also arrested two Beninoises who specialise in snatching cars from Nigeria and taking same to Benin Republic for ready buyers, posing as traditional rulers.

Four suspected members of the bank robbery gang who confessed to some of the robbery operations, have been arrested and a total of eight riffles, 12 empty magazines and 98 rounds of live ammunition recovered.

Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the zone, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, while briefing newsmen yesterday on the zone’s achievement, said  the anti-robbery team who acted on a tip-off arrested one Tochukwu Mike, who was later discovered to be the gang’s armourer, about a month ago.

Tochukwu’s confessional statement, according to him, further led to the arrest of three other suspected members of the gang and the gang’s hideout somewhere at Obe Town in Nkanu West Local Government area of Enugu State, where to the astonishment of the operatives, various calibre of arms and ammunition were discovered.

The recovered arms include five AK47 riffles, one Fal Military riffle, one GMP military riffle, one pump action riffle, 78 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition in chain, 20 rounds of Fal live ammunition, 11 AK47 riffle empty magazines and one empty magazine of Fal riffle.

Relatedly, two Beninoise suspected to be members of a syndicate which specialise in snatching vehicles from Nigeria and taking same to Benin Republic have been arrested. The suspects confessed to have succeeded in beating the eagle eyes security operatives at the border with the use of traditional attires and number plates of traditional rulers.

Items recovered from them include a suspected stolen Toyota Camry Saloon car with number plate EQ 154 LSR,  a pair of number plates bearing ‘OTUNBA’ and another pair bearing ‘OLOGO 1’ with assorted beads.

Abubakar said efforts were still on to apprehend other members of the gang.

Also paraded, was a 43-year-old man who specialised in producing adulterated wines and fruit juice such as Eva, Blue Cocktail and Five -Alive.

The suspect, Mr Kavid Kalu was arrested by detectives attached to the Miscellaneous section of the Zone, right in his shop at Ojuwoye, in Mushin area of the state, where he produces the adulterated drinks. Although he confessed to the crime but  said they were good for consumption, adding that he usually took them to Cotonue, the Republic of Benin where they were sold at cheaper prices.