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‘N1.4m cash, rifles’ recovered as police arrest 36 suspects for ‘rail track vandalism, kidnapping’

‘N1.4m cash, rifles’ recovered as police arrest 36 suspects for ‘rail track vandalism, kidnapping’
June 16
20:10 2021

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) says it has arrested 36 suspects over their alleged involvement in rail track vandalism, armed robbery, kidnapping, among other crimes.

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Also paraded at the police headquarters on Wednesday, was a syndicate allegedly involved in vandalising railway tracks across the country.

Frank Mba, police spokesperson, disclosed this in a statement.

He noted that items recovered, following the arrests, included N1.4 million cash, rifles, and rounds of ammunition.

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“Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a criminal syndicate responsible for recent economic sabotage and vandalism of rail tracks in the North-West and North-Central parts of the country. The arrest of the suspects follows 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,” the statement reads.

“The arrested vandals are among a total of thirty-six (36) notorious criminal suspects arrested by the Police recently for offences of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of illegal firearms, cultism, murder, economic sabotage, cybercrime, car snatching, etc.

“The arrests were achieved as a result of 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.

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“Exhibits recovered in the operations include: 8 AK49 rifles, 3 AK47 rifles, 1 locally made rifle, 346 rounds of AK47 live ammunition, 24 live cartridges, 20 AK47 magazine, cash sum of One million, four hundred thousand (N1,400,000), vehicles – 2 Toyota Corolla (Abuja – RBC 653 AE and ABC 906 AG), 1 Toyota Camry, one 307 Peugeot (Abuja – BWR 920 HK), one 406 Peugeot and one Honda civic.”

Mba identified the suspects involved in the rail track vandalism as 42-year-old Idris Lawal, 29-year-old Abdullahi Musa, and 22-year-old Usman Umar, adding that they “were arrested following a coordinated intelligence-driven special operation on 27th May, 2021, which uncovered a warehouse in Gboko LGA 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, other rail accessories and consumables,” the police spokesman said.

“Further investigations by the Police team led to the interception of three (3) heavy-load trucks along Ikom-Ibom junction in Cross Rivers State. The trucks were fully loaded with vandalised rail items transported from the warehouse.”

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According to the statement, Usman Baba, inspector-general of police, “expressed confidence that no stone would be left unturned until all 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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