By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The Nigerian Police has paraded 108 suspects for armed robbery, trading of guns, banditry and kidnapping along Abuja – Kaduna express way at the Special Anti – Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Abuja.
Parading the suspects on Thursday, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba explained that the criminals were apprehended in diverse operations conducted in various states of the country by the men of the IGP intelligence Response Team (IRT), and the IGP Special Task Force (STC).
Adding that the police had during the operations recovered from gang members to include 30 firearms, including A k47, locally made pistols, 1,520 live ammunition, illicit drugs and some cash.
According to Mba, the 108 suspects paraded were clearly linked with cases touching on kidnapping, drug dealing, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, illicit trade on weapons, unlawful possession of prohibited drugs and exchange of same and surprisingly the manufacturing of weapons.
He said one of the suspects, Abdullahi Ali, 29, a citizen of Niger, who specializes in altering the International Mobile Equipment Identity Number of stolen telephones which is supposed to avail both manufacturers and investigator keep an eye on product (phones) wherever they go, the altering of the number thereby throws them in darkness .
The suspect who hails from Maradi,Niger Republic, said he used apps to alter the IMEI of the telephones, adding that he was taught the skills by other suspects at large.
When asked how many phones he has changed their IMEI and how much each phone is charged?, he said ” I cannot remember the number exactly, but it should be more than 20 phones and the price varies from five hundred naira to one thousand naira depending on the phone”.
Meanwhile, some of the suspects who spoke to our correspondent decried challenges in their operations for the past three months due to tight security checks.
One of the suspects, Mohammed Mustapha, a 26 year old male from Kaduna, a kidnap suspect operating along the Abuja – Kaduna axis said this yesterday at the press briefing and parade of 108 suspects by police at the Special Anti – Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja.
Mustapha who said he is engaged in farming and kidnapping as a means of survival, lamented of being out of business for more than 3 months since the massive redeployment of security men at the Abuja – Kaduna express way to defend those plying the road.
The suspect who speaks in Hausa language, was translated to English language as :” we couldn’t operate for more than 3 months because of the massive security men at the high way, and we are not happy with the way the security men were deployed so we ran out of business for more than 3 months.
” I advise my fellow kidnappers to leave kidnapping, it is not work, I will help police to fish out others yet to be arrested”. Mustapha added.
Another, Mohammed Mamoda, a 40 year old man who was arrested for manufacturing of fire arms, fabricate a locally made Ak47 which he said function same as the other ones.
When asked how he has been manufacturing this guns without been educated? He responded :” No body thought me how to make them, I go to buy scrap irons and fabricate the Ak47 And there are functional, I tested them my self, I made them 11, their prices varies from eighty thousand naira to one hundred thousand naira” . Mohammed said.
Also Adamu Numan, 48yrs from Aliyah Local Government Area of Sokoto, a near by village from Niger Republic, who was arrested for trading fire arms affirmed his arrest and said ” I buy guns, and life rounds ammunitions from Mohammed Halilu in Niger Republic and sell them in Nigeria to bandits in Zamfara and kuduna states in Nigeria”.
” I usually buy Ak47 rifles at the rate N400, 000 to N450, 000 and sell like N650, 000 to N700, 000 each”. Adamu added.
“I have sold over 7 rifles and 200 ammunition to bandits. I have been into the business for over 3 years and this is the second time that I have been arrested”.
Numan told DAILY ASSET that he had supplied over 7 Ak47 rifles to bandits and made a profit of over N150,000 on each rifle before he was arrested.