• Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Police arrest 10 bullion van robbery suspects in Abia

ByJanice K. Merrill

Sep 20, 2022

By Leo Okachie

Abia Police Command has arrested 10 members of a daring robber gang who allegedly stole a bullion van on July 26 and took away around N390 million.

Police Commissioner Janet Agbede said the suspects belonged to a 14-member gang that specialized in stealing vans in different parts of the country.

She said they were arrested at different times and places in Abia, Delta, Lagos, Ondo, Rivers and Imo.

Parading the suspects in front of reporters at the command headquarters in Umuahia on Monday, she said the arrest was made possible by “a special intelligence investigation team, led by technology.”

She said the team was set up in the aftermath of the July attack, which happened at Ntigha Junction on the Isialangwa axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway.

Agbede said: “I have carefully studied their modus operandi and set up a technology-led special intelligence investigation team with a clear directive to stop and recover the weapons used by the murderous armed gang.

“As a result, the squad systematically began its operations, applying speed and precision.”

According to her, the team’s effort led to the arrests of the suspects at different locations and days.

Agbede said the suspects confessed to the crime “in their individual voluntary statements”.

She also said the suspects confessed to stealing bullion vans from Ajah in Lagos, Akure Road in Ondo State, Asaba and Mbaise in Imo.

She said the suspects confessed that Abia’s attack was carried out after successfully mounting a roughly two-month surveillance on the bullion van.

Among the suspects were Adesoji Adeniyi, alias “Soji”, and Albert Nwachukwu, alias “White”, arrested in Lagos State.

Others were Felix Ajalaja, Moshood Opeyemi, alias “Abiola”, and Azubuike Amaefule, alias “Zubby”, arrested in Rivers.

The others were Nnamdi Nwaosu, alias “Prophet”, Monday Samuel, alias “MD”, and Matthew Christmas, alias “Aluwa”, arrested respectively in Imo, Ondo and Delta.

The other suspects were two brothers from Abia, Chikwendu and Prosper Israel, who were arrested in Abia.

Prosper told reporters he joined his brother in criminal activity after he was fired from the Department of State Services.

Weapons recovered from the suspects 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.

Others were a cut-to-size double-barreled pistol with five live rounds and 84 AK-47 magazines.

Officers also seized a Mercedes Benz truck that was allegedly used by the gang to conceal their firearms.

They also recovered 10,184,000 Naira from the suspects out of the 390 million Naira allegedly stolen from the bullion van.

The state police chief said the investigation is still ongoing to ensure the arrest of other members of the gang still at large.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) recalls that the bullion van concerned was transporting money from a bank in Aba to Umuahia, when it allegedly ran into a blockade set up by the thieves.

Police confirmed that the robbers shot and killed the bank teller, while three of the escorting officers suffered gunshot wounds.

They also confirmed that one of the gunmen was incapacitated in the ensuing shootout.

Meanwhile, Agbede called on the people of Abia to continue assisting the command with useful and timely information to enable them to take proactive measures in the fight against crime.

She said the command had devised strategies to restore adequate security in Umunneochi and other parts of Abia which had become notorious for kidnappings and banditry. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Mark Longyen/Sam Oditah

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