Kidnapping for ransom: IGP special team nabs 5 in Abia State
THE Operatives attached to the Special Squad raised by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris. Code-named “Intelligence Response Team,” IRT.
Under the “Operation Absolute Sanity” saddled with the task of tackling highbrow crimes in the country have arrested five suspected notorious kidnappers said to be operating in the Southern parts of the country with their operational Headquarters in Aba, Abia State.
An informed Police source told Tribune Online in Abuja at the weekend that the arrest was made possible following a matching order from the IGP that the Special Team under an Assistant Commissioner of Police should move to Abia state on a mission.
The source stated that the Team was specifically instructed: “to fish out those responsible for the kidnapping of a Unit Commander of Mobile Police, MOPOL, based in the state who was released after payment of an undisclosed ransom to the Kidnappers.”
According to the source, ” the said Commander on the day of the incident, January 14th, this year, the unit Commander was moving round to check his men at their duty posts when the suspects wielding AK-47 rifles blocked his patrol van and whisked him to an unknown destination only to demand a ransom before they could release him.”
“However, the Commander was eventually released three days after the Ransom was paid but without his Service pistol and other weapons.”
Tribune Online gathered that irked by the ugly development, the IGP dispatched the Special Team to Abia state and after Six days of combing the entire state, the team engaged in severe shootout with the members of the gang said to have been coordinated by a dismissed police recruit and captured five alive while one reportedly fell to the supreme fire of the team.
According to our source, some of the items recovered from the suspects who are now cooling off with the Investigating Police Officers are one Ak-47 rifle with two Magazines and 60 live rounds of ammunition, one Barretta service pistol of the Mopol Commander, one locally made pistol and several police hard and soft wares.
It was also gathered that the sister-in-law of the leader of the gang was picked up later in her super furnished apartment where she had been keeping arms ammunition for the gang for deadly operations in the area for a very long time for now.
In a related development, the operatives of the Special Team in a special mission to Toto Local Government in Nassarawa state on Thursday reportedly foiled an attempted kidnapping on a foreigner after hours of a shootout with a gang of suspected kidnappers in an ambush.
The expatriate was said to be coming in a pick-up Van the way where the kidnappers were on a pinned down to carry out their heinous act when the Operatives of the IRT engaged the suspects in a shootout and foiled the kidnap attempt.
It was gathered that the Operatives succeeded in rescuing the white man and his Mopol escort who sustained minor injuries while one of the operatives was said to be missing in action and bullet-ridden bodies were later recovered the following Morning by a search team comprising members of the federal-SARS. IRT and the Nassarawa State Police Command.
Though the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, CSP Jimoh Moshood could not be immediately reached for confirmation of the incidents as he was said to be attending a crucial meeting when the Sunday Tribune called for confirmation, however, a very Senior officer at the Force Headquarters in Abuja told our Reporter in confidence the Police High Command was aware and that concerted efforts were being made to track down the rest of the fleeing suspects for them to face the law.
The Police Chief, however, regretted the unfortunate loss of one of the operatives who Carried out the Nassarawa state operation and prayed for the soul of the deceased whom he described as a reliable and promising operative in the Force.