The Rivers State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji R. Disu, PSC, has successfully apprehended 26 suspects involved in a sophisticated car theft syndicate operating in and around Port Harcourt. The operation, unveiled during a press briefing held at the Police Headquarters, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, 27th March 2024, revealed the intricate workings of the criminal network responsible for the theft of more than 40 cars since January 2023.

The syndicate, comprising individuals from various states, utilized a range of illegal methods to acquire vehicles, including snatching cars at gunpoint, stealing parked vehicles using spare and master keys, and even utilizing native doctors to evade arrest. Their operations spanned across multiple locations, including Akpajo, Eleme Junction, Trailer Park, Eleme, Owerri, Aba, and Onitsha, with a scrap yard in Mgbuka-Obosi, Onitsha, serving as a hub for dismantling stolen vehicles for spare parts.

The arrest of two key gang leaders, Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe and Kelechi Uzo-Igwe, along with their accomplices, marks a significant victory for law enforcement in Rivers State. Chidozie, the mastermind behind the syndicate, was apprehended while fixing his car tyres at a vulcaniser’s in Igwuruta, while Kelechi, a mechanic and electrician, specialized in disabling digital trackers in stolen cars, facilitating their resale or disassembly for spare parts.

Other notable arrests include Isaac Udofia, Godwin Udota, Ikechukwu Eyinaya, Chibueze Dominic, Justice Saturday, and Sunday Okah, each playing various roles within the criminal network, from car break-ins to transportation and sale of stolen vehicles.

Furthermore, the police successfully apprehended suspects involved in receiving and selling stolen vehicles, including Musa Usman and Mohamed Hassan, who were intercepted while transporting stolen vehicles to Northern Nigeria.

In a separate operation, the police also arrested Monday Igbali, a former police sergeant dismissed for criminal activities, who continued to operate as a fake police inspector orchestrating car thefts. Monday’s arrest led to the recovery of three stolen cars.

CP Olatunji R. Disu commended the dedication and diligence of the police officers involved in the operation, emphasizing the importance of community cooperation in combating organized crime. The successful dismantling of the car theft syndicate reflects the commitment of the Rivers State Police Command to ensuring the safety and security of residents.

With the apprehension of key suspects and the recovery of stolen vehicles, the Rivers State Police Command sends a strong message to criminal elements, reaffirming its unwavering resolve to uphold law and order in the region.

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