Zamfara State Police Command has nabbed a kidnapping syndicate and arrested six members of the gang, including one who masterminded the kidnap of his mother and recovered N30 million collected as ransom.
The State police commissioner, through the command’s spokesman, Mohammed Shehu, addressing journalists at the headquarters said police operatives had acted on intelligence gathered through community policing.
The suspects were identified as Thomas Yau of Maikarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Abdulsamad Mohammed, Bello Abdullahi, Abubakar Namadi, Suleiman Gabriel and Christopher Gabriel, all of the same address.
Divulging details, he said: “On 12th February 2023, Zamfara Police Command through its community policing engagement acted on intelligence information that led to the busting of a kidnapping syndicate and the arrest of six notorious kidnappers who have been terrorising different villages in Kaduna, Kano and other neighbouring states such as Zamfara, Sokoto and so on.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that the suspects had carried out a series of kidnappings where an unspecified number of people were abducted and millions of naira collected as ransom.”
“Each suspect further narrated the number of kidnappings he participated in as well as the role he played in each kidnapping.
“Surprisingly, one of the suspects, Thomas Ya’u confessed that sometime last year, he masterminded the kidnapping of his biological mother and three others; as a result of the kidnapping, they collected the sum of N30 million from relations as ransom, and, in turn, he was given one million as his share. The case is under discreet investigation and will be charged to court for prosecution.”
The police spokesman further explained that the command also arrested a female gunrunner who specialised in supplying arms to bandits and criminal elements in Zamfara and neighbouring states.
He recorded that, 325 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition were recovered from the suspect, Fatima Sani, who hailed from Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of the State.
“On 13th February 2023 Police detectives arrested the female gunrunner in possession of 325 rounds of live ammunition, following the intelligence information obtained about her movement with the said exhibit from Lafia in Nasarawa State to a notorious bandit’s kingpin hibernating in the Zamfara forest.
“In the course of interrogation, the suspect confessed to having earlier supplied three AK-47 rifles and 1, 000 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition to bandits operating within Zamfara. A discreet investigation is in progress and the suspect will be charged to court for prosecution,” Shehu recounted.
He also disclosed the arrest of Rabiu Umar of Gusau who was arrested with 1,000 registered sim cards which are allegedly sold to bandits and other criminal elements.
“On 15th February 2023, upon intelligence that the suspect was seen with an uncountable number of registered MTN sim cards.
“Police operatives swung into action, arrested the suspect and conducted an on-the-spot search and the exhibits were recovered from him. The suspect confessed that the sim cards were for sale to customers looking for registered sim cards,” he stated.
“It is well known to everyone that it is no longer permitted by the NCC to sell registered sim cards of any network. An investigation is in progress with a view to arresting other suspects before being charged to court for prosecution,” he said.