It was a massive haul of ammunitions in Imo State as the State Police Command commence clampdown on notorious kidnap syndicates and armed robbery gangs and other criminal elements operating in the State and the environs.
No fewer than 36 kidnap and armed robbery suspects have been arrested within the period the operation has lasted.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, who paraded the suspects at the Police Headquarters Tuesday, assured that the offensive against criminal elements in the state will be sustained until heinous criminal activities are reduced to the barest minimum.
He said that apart from tracking down kidnap and armed robbery syndicates, the Command will also initiate massive onslaught against cult groups who have taken delight in harassing and maiming innocent residents of the state.
Describing cultism as the “root” of other criminal activities, Ezike, said that cultists will be traced to their classrooms, hostels and homes, where they will be apprehended to face the law, even after escaping from the scene of their crime.
According to him, “I am delighted this morning as we showcase our modest achievements in crime management in Imo State since my last parade of suspects in April. Permit me to mention however, that we have also in between the period made public some arrests and recoveries which we thought were very urgent importance.
“As we approach the second half of 2017, the Command expects increased business activities and human relationships in Imo State. These activities come with its good, bad and ugly baggage. We must therefore continuously be on the red alert so that the less than 7% criminal elements in our midst do not cause us avoidable pains”.
He continued that, “consequently in the coming weeks and months, our Tactical Operational focus shall be to sustain the momentum in the current operation of identification, arrest, detention and prosecution of suspected armed robbers, kidnappers, cultists and other notorious criminals.
“To commence the urgent vetting and profiling of communities, organizations, hotels that have shown uncommon notoriety in the provision of safe haven and passages for armed robbers/kidnappers with a view to holding their leadership and owners accountable for their acts or omissions .
“To sustain high visibility policing as a crime prevention measure and employ forensic technology as a fundamental aid to criminal investigation and detection and to expand the frontiers of Police/community partnership through strategic communication and relationship that will continue to stimulate our whistle blowing policy”.
The Commissioner of Police, attributed the success recorded within the time under review to “the workability of our whistle blowing policy which has encouraged the residents of Imo state to expose criminality and other vices that torment our society, renewed partnership with all segments of the Imo community and good inter-agency cooperation and collaboration, as well as the commitment and renewed zeal of the personnel of Imo state Police Command, using intelligence-led policing platforms and high visibility policing models to achieve efficiency and effectiveness”.
Some of the criminal syndicate that were busted include a notorious four-man kidnap gang led by a 34-year-old father of seven, which has been terrorizing residents of the state, especially around Avu community in Owerri West Council Area of the State.
Other members of the gang that was said to be behind the abduction of a female magistrate that was later rescued by the Police recently, were Chima Agujo (20), Tochukwu Chima 27 and Desmond Akano (25).
Also paraded were members of child trafficking syndicate that specializes in abducting and drugging pregnant women who are kept till they deliver and their babies sold by the gang.
Names of the members of the gang were given as Chinedu Onyeakosi, Chinaza Onyeakosi and Chidi Donatus, all male.
The Police also paraded students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) who were arrested for alleged armed robbery and cultism.
Items recovered from the paraded suspects, include stolen vehicles, AK47 Riffles, locally made pistols, pump action guns, axe, machetes and other dangerous weapons.The Nation