The Nigerian Police Force, Thursday, arrested 48 persons, for their alleged involvement in cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, unlawful possession of firearms, cybercrime, financial fraud and other heinous crimes in some parts of the country.
A female suspect was among the 48 arrested by the operatives of the FIB Intelligence Response Team and Special Tactical Squad of the Force attached to Operation Puff Adder II.
Police said its officers recovered 41 prohibited firearms including 14 AK-47 rifles, 10 AK-47 magazines, 58 live cartridges and four live AK-47 bullets.
Other items recovered were four POS machines, two laptop computers, 18 mobile phones, Internet modem and nine ATM cards.
Notable among the breakthroughs, according to the police, was the arrest of the nine persons thought responsible for the kidnap of Member, Taraba State House of Assembly, Honourable Mohammed Bashir Bape, kidnapped in December 2020.
“We apprehended the suspects at their various hideouts in Taraba and Plateau states following an intense search by the police team for the perpetrators of the crimes and follow-up on the recent spike in kidnappings and armed robbery in Taraba and the North-Central states of the country,” police said.
According to the police, investigations revealed that the suspects are members of a notorious armed robbery and kidnapping syndicate that specialises in terrorising innocent citizens in the North-Central and North-East states, particularly in Plateau and Taraba.
“We have uncovered the roles played by each member of the gang during the kidnap of the honourable member,” the police force said.
The Force added, “investigations also established how the proceeds of the crime (ransom) were shared among the suspects.”
The suspects are Yusuf Abubakar, 31, native of Jalingo LGA Taraba state; Muntari Umar, 27, a native of Mayo Belwa LGA Adamawa State; Ahmadu Dahiru, 28, a native of Lau LGA, Taraba State; Ali Alhaji Wurungo, 25, a native of Lau LGA Taraba State.
Others are Buhari Nuhu, 25, a native of Jalingo LGA; Mohd Garba, 30, a native of Mararaban Gasol, Taraba State; Yusuf Jibrillah 23, a native of Mararaban Gasol Taraba State; Adamu Ahmadu aka Bulala 32, a native of Taraba State and one Idi Suleiman.
Also arrested in a similar case was a two-man gang comprising of physically-challenged 61-year-old, Musa Usman, from Kebbi State and one Ahmed Shuaibu, 27, from Nasarawa.
They were arrested for alleged complicity in the distribution and sale of illicit and dangerous drugs to bandits in their camps at Babuga in Nasarawa.
According to the police, the 61-year-old resides in Anambra State.
“The physically-challenged man has been taking advantage of his physical state to evade police attention until his eventual arrest. Thirty-five wraps of a substance suspected to be cocaine were recovered from the suspects,” police said.
Arrested also was a 12-man cybercrime syndicate for internet fraud and other cyber-related offences.
According to the police, the suspects, aged within 22 and 30, were arrested at a residence in the Kubwa area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, following intelligence received by the police.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, flagged off of Operation Puff Adder II on February 15, 2021, to reinvigorate the ongoing fight against violent crimes in the country and bring perpetrators to book.
Talking about the success achieved by Operation Puff Adder II barely 10 days of its fag-off, IGP Adamu assured that the “Force will not relent in its commitment at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from criminals that are hell-bent on threatening the internal security order of the country and bringing such suspects to justice.”