Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by CSP Abba Kyari, have arrested one Daniel Gabriel, 33, from Akwa Ibom State for kidnapping.
Arrest of the suspect, a member of a notorious kidnapping syndicate said to be responsible for most of the kidnappings recorded within GRA Phase 2, Port-Harcourt main town, Borokiri General Area and YKC axis of Woji also led to the arrest of his accomplices as he confessed to about 15 cases of kidnaping in Rivers State and mentioned all his gang members.
According to a statement from the police, immediate follow-up by IRT Operatives in an operation that lasted five hours led to the arrest of eight more gang members at different locations within Port-Harcourt.
The gang members are: Alaso Igodo, 25, a native of Old Bakan; Akeodi Aselemi,34 ,a native of Abua-Odual; Ayibinmotei Livinus, 25, a native of Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State and Anikunka Anikunka, 33.
Others are Biebele Elijah, 34, a native of Okrika; Efiye Anda, 34, a native of Bayelsa State; Daniel Lessor, 31, a native of Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State and Isaac Reuben, 27, a native of Bayelsa State.
Exhibits recovered from the syndicate include one AK47 rifle with bridge no.0731, four AK47 magazines with 42 live ammunition, four face masks and the syndicate’s operational vehicle, a green Mazda Salon car.
The gang, according to security information, had on August 10, 2016, kidnapped one Rev. Mrs. Luis Ubah of 18, Creek Road, Port Harcourt and one Engr. Chika Ezenwa of 9, Belgium Avenue, Egbelu, Onyi-Igbo, Rivers State. Ubah and Ezenwa were abducted in the former’s shop and whisked away to Indoki Estate Waterfront.
While on their way, the kidnappers encountered a team of policemen and immediately opened fire on the security operatives, injuring a Police Inspector identified as David Ijosi, and one Corporal Dike Ledee before the the hoodlums escaped with their victims into the Isaka creeks in Okrika from where they demanded a ransom of N50 million from families of the victims, which was later reduced to N2.8 million after Bishop Prince Ubah pleaded with the kidnappers.
The victim’s husband subsequently sent two of his brothers, one Onyeka Ani and Pastor Okezie Akara, to take the ransom to the kidnappers on 25 August, 2016 but the duo were also abducted at the drop-off point by the kidnappers who then released Mrs. Ubah and Engr. Ezenwa and demanded a fresh ransom of N1m from Bishop Ubah for the release of his brothers.
The victims only regained their freedom after the sum of N750, 000 was paid to the kidnappers at Idoki Waterfront.
Also in August, the same gang went to the YKC Junction in Woji Town, Port Harcourt and kidnapped one Nkechi, taking her to Woji Waterfront where they boarded a speed boat driven by one Daile Lazor to Kula community in Akukotoru Local Government Area of Rivers State where they held Nkechi for two weeks before a ransom of N2m was paid.
In September 2016, they also kidnapped a man identified as Coachie at Niger Street, Number One Stadium, Port Harcourt Town from where they took him to Idoki Estate Waterfront where they boarded a speed boat to their Isaka camp in Okrika where the man was kept for two weeks but was released after the sum of N2.5million was paid.
The last operation before nemesis caught up with them was in October when the gang abducted a woman identified as Mrs. Okotie at a spot opposite Royal House of Grace Church. The victim’s plea that she had just put to bed and was feeling unwell did not move the hoodlums as they whisked her away and until their vehicle, a Mazda, broke down and their gang leader Blackie, called in another vehicle, a Nissan Primera. They were, however, headed towards Ornage Waterside, when IRT team got the wind of their operation and intercepted them.
The gang fled when they sighted the operatives and abandoned the woman in the car with one of their rifles. Subsequent investigations by the IRT operatives led to the arrest of one Daniel, a taxi driver in Borikiri, who, five of his gang members were rounded up by IRT operatives at the location and the revelation of more information led the team to Enugu Waterfront where Anikuroka Marshal, the gang’s armorer, was also apprehended.
The gang also identified Diobele Elijah and Akodi Aselemi as their spies that used to go around town scouting for victims. They confessed having three AK47 rifles and two English pistols.
Elijah confessed that he just joined the gang and that it was his boss, who he identified as Elvis, that lured him into the gang, adding that his job was to assist Elvis monitor the movements of their targets.
“I followed Elvis to Genesis, three times, to spy on a woman we wanted to kidnap but our boss Blackiee didn’t come on time. I was also with him in GRA where we kidnapped the woman who was rescued by the police. Evils hasn’t given me any good money since I started working with him, but he normally buys me drinks and food,” Elijah confessed.