The Forward Operation Base (FOB), 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Aba, Abia, said on Monday that it had arrested three suspected fake soldiers.
The suspects were nabbed for stealing NITEL underground cables.
Capt. Chris Nwogu, the Officer-in-Charge of the base, told newsmen in Aba on Monday, that the suspects included a dismissed lance corporal from the Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja and a civilian.
Mr. Nwogu said the suspects paraded themselves as soldiers.
He said a man who claimed to be a cadet with a fake Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) identity card was also arrested.
Mr. Nwogu said the suspects were part of the syndicate which had been dragging the image of the military in the mud by their nefarious acts.
“We are advising unsuspecting Nigerians to be at alert. These men would wear the military uniform to rob and perpetrate all sorts of crimes.
“If you see the uniforms, you will wonder if this man wants to open his own army. One of them was even seen with army garrison headquarters’ cap. You will think they are real soldiers. Now nemesis has caught up with them,” he said.
Mr. Nwogu said that on interrogation, the suspects confessed to dealing on fake military kit.
He said that the items recovered from them included 18 pairs of trousers, 45 face caps, 6 singlets, 8 top jackets and 15 bags.
The others are 5 jungle hats, military shorts, 24 small belts, 3 stamps, ink pads and 3 T- shirts.
He said that the suspects would be handed over to the State Security Services (SSS).
Mr. Nwogu said the menace was part of the challenges confronting the military and urged the public to be vigilant about such persons.
Parading the cable vandals, Nwogu said they were arrested at Brass Street, Aba and had made confessional statements which led to the arrest of buyers of the stolen items, while others were still at large.
According to him, investigations show that one of them has once been arrested by the police and later released but relapsed to crime.
Mr. Nwogu advised criminals to abandon their nefarious activities and engage in lawful ventures, to be useful to themselves and the society.
“They should know that crime does not pay. The long arms of the law must catch up with them,” he said.