*Arrests male kidnapper dressed in woman’s gown to abduct church members
*Nabs 75 criminals, impounds 350 motorcycles
By Dayo Johnson
The Ondo State security outfit codenamed Amotekun, have rescued a five-month-old baby, mother and a 78-year-old female church founder abducted by kidnappers in Akure, the state capital.
A male leader of the gang, Abiodun lgbekele, reportedly disguised as a woman to abduct church members along Edo Lodge, in Akure, about 11: 15p.m., during a vigil.
Parading the suspects, the state commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, said the suspect was arrested one hour after he led his other gang members to invade the church.
Adeleye said: “On Wednesday at 11:15p.m., we received a distress call that kidnappers stormed the church premises and apprehended some of the worshippers.
“Within minutes, our men swung into action and we were able to comb the bush around and condoned off all the streets and we were able to apprehend a man, who dressed in woman’s clothings to kidnap the church members.
“They molested the women and took them to a nearby bush where we arrested them. We were able to secure the release of three of the victims within one hour of serious search in the surrounding bushes.
“One of arrested kidnappers confessed that he is part of the gang that specialises in kidnapping.”
Speaking on the corps’ operation clean-up, Adeleye said: “Within the first few weeks of phase seven of ‘Operation Clean Up,’ we arrested over 75 hardened criminals.
“Some of them confessed to kidnapping. There is also a syndicate that specialises in dismantling Okada with 30 minutes after stealing it. They sell them as scraps.”
The commander said over 350 tinted vehicles and motorcycles have been seized within two week, following security report of plans to attack the state.
“For those tinted car that traversed the streets, either with permit or not, we searched the vehicles and I’ll tell you that of 350 vehicles seized, more than 50 percent of them had bad elements, which is a testament that dangerous criminals parade our state in tinted and unregistered vehicles.”
“Also, a couple of weeks ago, we warned residents to be wary of taxis that are not painted and the use of Okada in the night. We were able to arrest the ring leaders of a syndicate that specialises in stealing exotic phones.
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“They operate with Okada. Once they snatch the phone, they won’t ran, they will just throw it to someone who will grab it and mount a bike, and immediately takes off.
“When we heard of complaints in a particular area around Agagu Road and Oke-Ogba, we bought our bike and some of our operatives pretended to be commuters.
“They actually attacked one of our men, not knowing that we have laid siege so, we were able to arrest them right in the act.
“Some of the phones we used our equipment to track and we were able to arrest six other members of the syndicate. They already have buyers. You can imagine iphone 12 being sold for N100,000. We were able to arrest some of the buyers.
“We also have some of them who specialises in kidnapping motorists that entered their unmarked taxis. What they do is that they are private cars but they have taxi signs on the vehicles but remove them at nights, but passengers not knowing that they are already members of syndicates. On some occasion, they hypnotise the passengers and on some other occasions, they terrorise them with weapons.
“We have intensified surveillance because we received intelligence that bandits and armed robbers are preparing to strike financial institutions within the state.
“The corps will remain resolute as that such a plan will be frustrated. Apart from the fact the law establishing the corps empowers us to secure lives and property on major roads, forests and everywhere within the state, our primary role remains that of complimentary function to the existing security architecture of the state.”