Police Arrest Syndicate, 36 Suspects Over Rail Track Vandalisation:

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CBN

Olusola Bello

 

The Nigerian Police  has disclosed that detectives have arrested a criminal syndicate responsible for recent vandalisation of rail tracks in the Northwest and North-central parts of the country.

Frank Mba, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), also a Commissioner of Police, said the arrest followed deliberate efforts by the force to contain and clamp down on perpetrators of recent incidents of rail tracks vandalism, carting away of critical locomotive equipment and other related economic crimes in some parts of the country.

He said the arrested suspected vandals were among a total of 36 criminal suspects arrested by the police recently for banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of illegal firearms, cultism, murder, economic sabotage, cybercrime, car snatching among other crimes.

He said the arrested suspected vandals were among a total of 36 criminal suspects arrested by the police recently for banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of illegal firearms, cultism, murder, economic sabotage, cybercrime, car snatching among other crimes.

Parading the suspects in Abuja, he said the arrests were achieved due to sustained nationwide tactical, anti-crime operations by the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the Special Tactical Squad (STS) in the ongoing efforts aimed at stemming criminal activities particularly violent crimes in the country

Exhibits recovered in the operations included eight AK-49 rifles; three AK-47 rifles; one locally made rifle; 346 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition; 24 live cartridges; 20 AK-47 magazine, N1.4 million; vehicles, including two Toyota Corolla (Abuja -RBC 653 AE and ABC 906 AG); one Toyota Camry; one 307 Peugeot (Abuja-BWR 920 HK); one 406 Peugeot and one Honda
civic.

The rail track vandalism suspects, Idris Lawal, 42; Abdullahi Musa, 29, and Usman Umar, 22, were arrested following a coordinated intelligence-driven special operation on May 27, 2021, which uncovered a warehouse in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

A cordon and search operation conducted by the police operatives on the building revealed different vandalised rail equipment, stolen rail installation racks, weld-shear, rail puller, and other rail accessories and consumables.

He said further investigations by the police team led to the interception of three heavily-loaded trucks along Ikom-Ibom junction in Cross Rivers State.

According to the PPRO, “The trucks were fully loaded with vandalised rail items transported from the warehouse. Investigation is ongoing to identity the destination, the targeted criminal receivers, end-users and other suspects complicit in the crime.”

Similarly, a six-man notorious armed robbery and kidnapping syndicate linked to several violent crimes in Ondo and Ekiti States has been arrested.

The arrest followed the trailing and arrest of one 60-year-old Umar Mohammed, who was on the wanted list of the police for transporting firearms and ammunition on behalf of criminals who had carried out major operations in the South-west states.

Further investigations by the police team led to the arrest of five members of his gang, namely: Umar Abubakar, 22; Muhammed Bello, 52; Sale Lawali, 25; Usman Muhammed, 20, and Musa Ibrahim, 53.

Mba stated that they utilised the weapons he provided to carry out series of kidnapping and armed robbery operations in the country.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Usman Baba, expressed the determination of the police to ensure that public spaces are reclaimed from criminal elements and a comfortable level of public safety and security achieved in all parts of the country.

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