The police have paraded 16 suspects arrested for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of prohibited firearms in Sabo Wuse area of Niger State.
Among the suspects was a 75-year-old man the police said was engaged in defrauding people with fake currencies.
Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, told journalists at Divisional Police Headquarters in Tafa, Sabo-Wuse Thursday afternoon that the suspects belonged to four gangs of criminals.
Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police, named members of one of the gangs as Abdulkareem Isah, 48, Mohammadu Mustapha, 25, Yunusa Mohammed, 40, Ahmadu Musa 23, and Bashir Yero 30.
He said the suspects engaged in kidnapping and armed robbery along Abuja – Kaduna, Abuja – Minna – Bida, Birnin Gwari – Funtua, Abuja – Lokoja highways, while dressed in fake military uniforms.
Mr. Moshood said the police had also reinforced their “Operation Absolute Sanity” with additional personnel and logistics to tackle kidnappers, armedrobbers and car snatchers on the Abuja – Kaduna, Abuja – Minna – Bida, Birnin Gwari Funtua, Abuja – Lokoja and other highways nationwide.
“This Operation Absolute Sanity is equally being carried out by the Police Joint Forces throughout the country,” he added.
Mr. Moshood paraded another group of suspects, led by Yakubu Sulaiman, 40.
Other members of the gang are Usman Ibrahim 29, Ahmed Sulaiman 37, Abdumalik Sadiq 29, and Isah Sulaiman 29.
He said the suspects specialised in kidnap for ransom and armed robbery; and that they were suspects in the murder of a police officer.
The police also paraded Usman Bawa, a 75-year old man who could barely stand, as the leader of a “vicious group who specialises in defrauding people with thousands of fake US dollars and Nigerian currency.”
Mr. Moshood said the suspects were arrested on November 6 at their hideouts by operatives of Operation Absolute Sanity comprising the Special Tactical Squad STS, Police Mobile Force, PMF, and Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
“The security operatives, raided identified kidnappers dens, camps, armed robbers and car snatchers in their camps, black spots and criminal hideouts in the forests located in the FCT, Niger and Kaduna states and successfully smashed four vicious and notorious gangs; and in the process arrested the following 16 suspects in the act of kidnapping and collection of ransom, car snatching and armed robbery,” he said.
He said the suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of police investigation.
“Investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large,” he added.
Items he said were recovered from the suspects include two AK 47 riffle, one SMG OFN Mode 12 gun, one locally made revolver pistol, three pump action gun, two Bareta pistol and one, air riffle.
Also paraded were 85 rounds of 7.62X39mm ammunition, 10 Rounds of 9mm ammunition 6 ROUNDS OF 380 AUTO three live cartridges and five AK 47 magazines.
Other items were two pairs of military camouflage uniforms, one fabricated master key, two Toyota Corolla cars, and one Toyoto muscle car among others.