The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Abia State, Janet Agbede, has narrated how the Abia Police Command arrested 10 members of the deadly armed robbery gang who robbed a bullion van of about N390 million on 26th of July.
The bullion van was conveying cash from a bank in Aba to Umuahia, when it ran into a blockade set by the armed robbers.
The Police confirmed that the robbers shot and killed the bank’s Cash Officer, and left three of the escort policemen with bullet injuries.
They also confirmed that one of the gunmen was gunned down during the gun battle.
According to the CP, the 10 suspects, including a DSS operative, belong to a 14-member gang that is specialized in robbing bullion vans in various parts of the country.
The suspects who were captured at different parts of the country, were paraded at the command’s headquarters in Umuahia on Monday, September 19.
The CP further stated that the arrest was made possible because she studied the modus operandi of the suspects, and set up a special intelligence, technologically-led investigation squad, with a clear directive to arrest and recover the weapons they used.
She also noted that the set-up squad however, made great efforts and systematically commenced operation, applying speed and accuracy, which made it possible to arrest the criminals at different times and locations.
She said the arrested gang members confessed to the crime in their individual voluntary statement, and have as well, confessed to robbing other bullion vans in Ajah, Lagos, in Akure, Ondo, in Asaba, Delta, and in Mbaise, Imo state.
Among the suspects was a DSS agent, Prosper Israel, and his brother Chikwendu, who were arrested in Abia.
Prosper confessed that he joined his brother in the gang after his dismissal as a DSS agent.
Other arrested suspects include Albert Nwachukwu aka White and Adesoji Adeniyi aka Soji, who were arrested in Lagos.
Also, Felix Ajalaja, Moshood Opeyemi aka Abiola, and Azubuike Amaefule aka Zubby, were arrested in Rivers.
The rest were Nnamdi Nwosu, arrested in Imo, Monday Samuel, arrested in Ondo, and Matthew Christmas, arrested in Delta State.
Agbede said the robbers confessed that they were able to rob the bullion van after successfully mounting about two months’ surveillance on it.
Weapons recovered from the gang members included a General Purpose Machine Gun with 53 rounds of live ammunition, 13 AK-47 rifles with 1,749 live ammunition, two improvised explosive dynamites, a cut-to-size double barrel gun with 5 live cartridges, as well as 84 AK-47 magazines.
A Mercedes Benz truck allegedly used to hide the weapons, and N10,184,000 out of the N390 million stolen from the van were also recovered.
Investigations are still on to capture other members of the gang, according to the State Police Chief.
The Abia CP has also appealed to Abians to assist the Police with any useful information to capture them.
She concluded by assuring that the police has set up strategies to ensure that security is restored in Umunneochi and other parts of Abia State affected by kidnappers and bandits.