Operatives of the Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad have arrested a nine-man syndicate of high-profile kidnappers that specializes in the abduction of travelers on major highways in the North-Western region of the country.
The suspects are: Bashir Sule, 25; Abubakar Haruna, 30; Babangida Bature; Aliyu Idris, 24; Adam Jafar, 26; Usman Idris; Yusuf Idris, 45; Sale Musa, 25 and Umar Sale, 22.
They were arrested following investigations by the Police team which uncovered plans by the syndicate to carry out a major abduction of travelers along the Kano-Katsina expressway.
A statement issued by Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba on Tuesday said police investigations revealed that the modi operandi of the syndicate involve the principal suspect, Bashir Sule taking a commuter bus to a motor-park, acting as a driver, to convey passengers.
“Bashir, while driving to the expected destination, stops at an agreed meeting point where his other gang members swoop in, attack, rob and abduct the passengers.
“The criminals thereafter contact the families of the victims for ransom before their release. Investigations further revealed that the principal suspect, Bashir, sometimes joins commuter buses as a passenger and in the course of the journey provides information to his other gang members who then lie in wait for the innocent co-travellers. Bashir in both instances, acts as a victim who barely escaped the attack.
“Similarly, the police team arrested an 11-man notorious gang for their involvement in series of violent crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery, illegal possession and illicit sale of prohibited firearms.
“The gang which has two female members – Hafsat Adamu, 24-years old and Aisha Ibrahim, 30-years-old – rely on these women to transport their weapons from one point to another, taking advantage of the innocuous look and sentiments associated with their gender,” Mba explained.
Mba also disclosed that the Police arrested a trans-national car theft syndicate that specializes in stealing cars from Nigeria and smuggling same to Niger Republic and other neighbouring countries.
He said 15 cars were recovered from the suspects, with two jamming devices which aid the suspects in moving the stolen vehicles undetected.
Mba said the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, while reiterating the commitment of the Force to the protection of lives and property in the country, called on motor park operators to ensure adequate screening of their drivers and vehicle owners before permitting them to operate in their motor parks.
“The IGP noted that thirty-four (34) suspects including 32-male and 2-female were arrested. Eleven (11) high-calibre grenades, eleven (11) sophisticated firearms, fifteen (15) stolen cars, two (2) vehicle jammers, three hundred and eighty-nine (389) AK-47 ammunition, amongst others, were recovered from the suspects.
“All the suspects will be charged to court on conclusion of investigations,” he said.