NIGERIA. Niger: The Niger state police authority issued a press release on November 10 in which they state they have arrested 12 suspected kidnappers and one human smuggler across the state, in addition to seven “others” for different crimes. The police recovered some 500 cattle and rescued an unknown number of victims and a sum of 270,000 nairas. The suspects are still awaiting justice while the case is investigated.
In the document signed by the state’s police spokesman, Wasiu Abiodun, it is said that the group used the Sonfada forest as their operational center and hid human and kettle alike into the forest as they regularly engaged in kidnapping for ransom and kidnapping for human trafficking. They were armed.
On November 7, 2021, the police detained two other suspects who confessed to being the brain behind an anonymous letter sent to a man, demanding that he pays N4 million or risk kidnapping.
After an anonymous signal of gunmen perceived in Lapai, a joint Police – Vigilantes team from Lapai Division were immediately mobilized to the forest where they engaged in a chase and sustained operational pressure on the hoodlums. During the operation, they managed to save two victims unhurt and recover about five hundred (500) rustled cattle, two Bajaj motorcycles, and a sum of two hundred and seventy thousand naira and five cutlasses.
During interrogation, the two suspects confessed to the crime and kidnapping escapades, while in another development, one of the suspects also confessed to being a human trafficker as he had trafficked over thirty (30) teenagers from Kebi and the Niger States to Kwara and the Oyo States respectively. The case is under investigation.
On November 8, 2021, a gang of armed robbers who specialize in snatching tanker trucks loaded with petroleum products, snatched a tanker truck with Reg. No. GME 701 XA, loaded with 40,000 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS) on its way from Lagos to Gombe State.
The tanker truck was snatched along Agaie – Lapai road where the armed suspects emerged from the forest with a Golf vehicle and accosted the driver of the truck and his motor boy into their Golf vehicle while the truck was driven away by one of the suspects.
Consequently, an angry group of people mobilized before the police arrived and managed to hold one of the suspects and tried to lynch him. The police arrived on time to rescue him from the mob and urge him into the hospital for medical attention. The two victims, abandoned earlier by the rest of the organized group, were later rescued unhurt in the forest. A joint effort is mobilized to retain the rest of the gang members.
On November 9, 2021, the police received a call that gunmen blocked the Bangi-Mangoro, intercepting two commercial vehicles conveying passengers from Mangoro village to Bangi market. The Command mobilized the Police tactical teams in conjunction with the military and vigilante to the scene and rescued fifteen victims unhurt while joint efforts are still on the pursue of the bandits.
Other arrests and investigations have been made over the week in connection to the three isolated cases.