By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, yesterday, said the command had arrested 20 persons suspected to be members of a gang specialised in robbing bank customers in Benin.
He said one of their recent victims was 81-year-old Mrs Grace Omoigui, late mother of the former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okaro, who was shot last month.
He said three AK-47 rifles, live magazines and several other weapons were recovered from the suspects. Mr. Gwandu, who spoke while parading 55 suspected robbers, cultist and kidnappers, warned his officers against arresting people in proxy during the festive period, insisting that they must have evidence before arresting anyone for any crime.
Gwandu, who gave details of how the suspected bank robbers operated, said: “From the confessional statements we have got, these bank thieves, who are well armed, always have somebody inside the bank who dresses well like a respectable customer.
“The person will be watching those who come to withdraw huge amount. As soon as the money is withdrawn, they identify the person and alert their members outside who will now rob the customer.
“That was how they shot the old woman who came to withdraw money at one of the new generation banks and the woman died later. But after three days, we arrested the suspects including the kingpins.
“After that incident, the same gang went to another bank, where my men killed two and arrested one.
“A fourth, who sustained gunshot injuries, is currently recovering and helping us with information and that was how we arrested others.”