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Cross River police smashes inter-state armed robbery syndicate

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Calabar – The Cross River Police Command has arrested an armed robbery syndicate that operates between Taraba and Ikang in Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

Briefing newsmen on Friday in Calabar on security situation, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Kola Shodipo, said the gang was into illegal arms dealings and car theft.

He said the five-man gang was arrested with one Audi 80 with registration No. EA 80 ABC and one Mercedes 190 with registration No PU 854 AAA, believed to have been stolen.

“They were also arrested with the sum of N300,000 cash meant for the purchase of two AK 47 Rifles, ‘’ he said.

He gave the names of the suspects as Lawal Bako, Abdulahi Isa, Umaru Haruna, Alhaji Ahmadu and Aniete Etim, an ex-militant leader in the Bakassi Peninsula.

The commissioner said all the suspects are from Taraba.

Shodipo said that on July 14, the command arrested two robbery suspects who specialised in robbing supermarkets and pharmaceutical shops in parts of Calabar Metropolis.

He gave the names of the suspects as Hopeman Etim (22) and Edem Effiong (21).

Shodipo said one locally-made pistol and two cartridges were recovered from them, adding that one Highlander Jeep with registration No. EKY 158 BH was recovered from a doctor in Abi Local Government Area’s place.

The commissioner said 20 assorted cell phones, two unregistered motorcycles, two flat screen television sets, two electric welding machines and one generator set were also recovered from them.

He said the command also arrested 20-year-old Gentle Moses at Bogobiri area of Calabar for negotiating to sell a 15-yearold Richard Lawrence from Akwa Ibom for N1.5 million.

Shodipo added that the command also arrested two suspected cultists from Army Day Secondary School, Eburutu Barracks and Technical Secondary School, Ikot Effanga Mkpa, Calabar.

He said that the two students – Godwin Ekpo (20) and Francis Jonah (19) – conspired and stabbed to death Boniface Odinaka who was the labour prefect of Army Day Secondary School.

The commissioner said the two students had confessed to the crime and would be charged to court soon.

Moses, who was arrested in Bogobiri area of Calabar, told newsmen that the devil pushed him to try to sell his friend for money.

“It was the devil that pushed me. I actually did not know what happened to me,’’ he said.

One of the gun runners, Lawal Bako from Taraba, told newsmen that they sell their arms to Boko Haram members and other inter-tribal warlords in the north.

The police boss said that all the suspects would be charged to court soon. (NAN)

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