A suspected kidnapper, Abubakar Umar, yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that his gang collected N200 million ransom from families of victims in operations that took place in different parts of the North.
Umar made the shocking revelation at the complex of the Special Tactical Squad (STS), where 38 suspected kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements were presented to journalists.
This was as he further revealed that members of his gang made N9 million from the abduction of Chinese expatriates.
Also presented yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DSP Frank Mba, was a nursing mother, Esther Senior, whom the police said was nabbed with a bag laden with an AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.
Umar, who did not betray emotion while speaking in Hausa Language, told journalists that his gang operated mainly within Niger and Kebbi states.
The suspect, who confessed to participating in six operations, claimed that he had sponsors benefitting from his gang’s criminal activities.
He said: “My work is kidnapping mainly in Niger and Kebbi states. I am serving my master. I participated in six kidnap operations. We kidnapped Chinese expatriates, who paid without problems. Another informant called us and we made N6 million. He called for another, and we collected N4 million ransom.”
Fielding further questions from journalists, Umar said that his sponsors collected ransom ranging from N100 million and N50 million respectively.
Another suspect, Abubakar Ahmadu, said his area of illegal operation, was the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
Ahmadu, who confessed to taking active part in the abduction of the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Muhammed Mahmood, and daughter, said he belonged to a gang of seven kidnappers.
He said: “I specialise in kidnapping on Abuja-Kaduna Road. We kidnapped Dr. Mahmood, chairman of UBEC. We collected ransom of N5 million from the family. Five of our members were killed.”
On how the arrest of the nursing mother was effected, Mba explained that the suspect was arrested somewhere in Ondo State, while attempting to deliver the items to an Ogun State-based gang.
According to him, the gang had perfected plans to take in a prominent son of the state, had the illegal transaction sailed through.
He said: “A young woman, Esther Senior, was arrested in Ondo State with one AK47 rifle and 18 ammunition, packed in a bag, recovered from her. This young woman was on a mission to deliver the weapons to a gang based in Ogun State. The gang had perfected plans to kidnap a senior citizen in Ogun State. The suspected criminals deliberately chose a nursing mother, believing they would beat the prying eyes of our security operatives.”
Meanwhile, the police have announced the adoption of fresh strategies aimed at nipping crimes in the bud, as well as denying criminals food and other essentials.
As a result, the FPRO disclosed that about 20 trucks laden with grains, and “destined to be delivered to criminals” in a state, had been intercepted by operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder.
While commending the strides recorded by operatives of the STS, as well as the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Mba assured members of the public of the determination of the police to sustain the fresh momentum in crime-fighting across the country.
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