The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, has announced the arrest of 18 suspected criminals for crimes ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, child theft to child trafficking.
Two of the suspects, he said, were, however, lynched by a mob, noting that the apprehended hoodlums would face the music to serve as deterrent to others who indulge in such acts.
Lakanu, who disclosed this at the weekend in Owerri, during the launch of ‘Change Begins with Me and Operation Nkpochapu (wipe out criminals), said to ensure its smooth operation, four additional units had been established in the command.
He named the units as ‘Judges Protection Unit, Hotel Protection Unit, Filling Station Protection Unit, and Monitoring/Anti-Corruption XSquad Unit, noting that the units would help the command in tracking policemen who are brutalizing or extorting members of the public.
He disclosed that four suspected child kidnappers, who allegedly hacked a nursing mother to death and ran away with the victim’s five-month-old baby, had been apprehended by his men. Lakanu said the suspects confessed to selling the baby at N300,000 to their buyer.
Those arrested include Uchenna Ozor, Prince Etim John, Chinazaepkeren Nwaenyi, and Chukwudi Ngbanwelu. In addition, one Chimezie Ekeanya of Umuisu Oburu Ngor Okpala was also arrested in connection with the kidnapping of one Mrs. Bennadette Onwuli, a 70-year-old woman in Obokwo, Ngo Opkala. Two other accomplices, who had earlier escaped were, later arrested and lynched by the community.
Lakanu added that convoy patrol teams have been put in place to identify crime hotspots, stressing that training of officers are already in view on sharp shooting and new trends in crime fighting, to make the state unattractive to criminals.