TWELVE members of a kidnapping syndicate ran out of luck last week in Jigawa State when they were arrested by the Inspector General of Police (IGP)’s anti-robbery squad attached to the renown hunter, Alhaji Ali Kwara Azare.
The gang of kidnappers was arrested after they attacked some Fulanis in Madabe village in Buji Local Government Area, Jigawa State, where they beat most of their victims and robbed them of N1.3 million.
Speaking with Crime Reports, the gang leader who gave his name as Ali Bello, an indigene of Itas Local Government Area of Bauchi State, said it was one Mai Unguwa Ali that invited him to the village to rob.
The gang leader explained that “this is my first time of involvement in kidnapping. It was Ali who called me on phone and told me that there were some Fulanis who had plenty cows, saying that we should go and kidnap their children or wives to collect ransom.
“He took me round the area and showed me their houses. To my surprise, all of them were his neighbours and knew him. In fact, they were under him because he was the leader of the village.”
“I called his attention to the fact that attacking his neighbours could cause problem for us but he assured that there would be no problem. So, I called other friends and Ali welcomed them, showing them the area and all possible exits,” the gang leader disclosed.
He added that “we successfully operated, though we did not collect much from our victims the first day. We only asked them to arrange money for us, threatening that we would kill them if they failed to meet our demand. We decided not to kidnap anyone that day because they were scared.
“By the time we came back, they had gathered N1.36 million which we collected. We gave the village head his share.
“Few weeks after, Ali called us for another job and after we invaded the hamlet, the dwellers promised to do as our former victims did. As we planned to go for the money, the IGP’s squad, unknown to us, had arrested Ali, and he led the team members to my house. They went after others and arrested them.”
He disclosed that he came in contact with other gang members in grazing places since they were all Fulanis.
“We formed a gang and started terrorising our fellow Fulanis. I started by stealing cows but later became an armed robber after I procured gun and found others who also have guns.”
Ali added that “I bought the gun from one man at the cost of N350,000. I don’t know him and his residence; I met him through this job (crime). I never killed anybody, I’m using my gun to scare our victims and collect money and cows.”
Speaking with Crime Reports on the arrest, Ali Kwara said that “the syndicate of criminals had been terrorising the Fulanis living in villages in Bauchi, Jigawa and Plateau States. They move in a large number carrying guns and other weapons and storm any village to collect money or kidnap either children or wives of their target after beating them.”
“When the victims reported to my squad, we swung into action, used our techniques and succeeded in arresting them one after the other. We recovered N1.439 million, two AK-47 guns, a locally made pistol and dozens of 7.2 mm ammunition.”
He said that the suspects would be handed over to Jigawa State police command for further investigation.