Force Headquarters yesterday said a trans-national kidnap syndicate was planning attacks on security agents and foreigners. The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, who disclosed this, said the 15- man syndicate involved in the kidnap of an American citizen, Philippe Walton, had concluded plans to carry out more attacks to avenge the death of six of its members during the liberation of the victim. Walton was abducted from his home in Niger Republic and taken to a forest in Sokoto State sometime in October.
He was rescued by the United States Special Forces a few days after his abduction. Mba spoke at the presentation of two members of the gang arrested by special operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IG) Intelligence Response Team (IR), as well as the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB). The suspects – Aliyu Abdullahi and Aliyu Umaru – were nabbed on November 25, during coordinated operations by the operatives.
Mba said six of the suspected kidnappers – four Nigeriens and two Nigerians – were killed during the rescue operation. He said: “The two suspects – members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian/ Nigerien extraction, led by Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Baba – were arrested following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang, disrupting and halting other criminal activities by them.
“Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts.” Mba, however, said the Force was collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations.
This, he noted, was with a view to apprehending other members of the trans-national syndicate still at large. Meanwhile, as part of measures to tackle transnational crimes, the FPRO said the IG, Mohammed Adamu, “is working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organisation (WAPCO) to deepen intelligence sharing amongst security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthen security along the international borders of member states”.