POLICE ARREST 13-MEMBER GANG SPECIALIZING IN HIJACKING, DIVERTING TRAILER LOADs OF GOODS

POLICE ARREST 13-MEMBER GANG SPECIALIZING IN HIJACKING, DIVERTING TRAILER LOADs OF GOODS

The Rivers State Police Command has successfully apprehended a 13-member criminal syndicate involved in hijacking and diverting trailer loads of goods, following an attempted burglary investigation.

On March 4, 2024, a distress call alerted the police to a burglary attempt at warehouses in Elimgbu, owned by Mr. Emmanuel Nwangwu and Mrs. Ndifreke Ekanem. Police officers arrived promptly, arresting five suspects who had been severely beaten by a mob. These suspects were taken to the police hospital for treatment and subsequent interrogation.

Spokesperson of the Rivers state Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko revealed that two of the arrested suspects were security personnel: West Isaac (08NA/61/2653), a corporal in the Nigerian Army, and Jabila Kammangar, alias ‘Kaka,’ an officer in the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Both confessed to abandoning their posts to partake in lucrative criminal activities in Rivers State.

Corporal West, a 36-year-old father of four from Buguma, joined the Army in 2008 and served in Delta State. He failed to return from a sick pass, remaining AWOL for over a month. He disclosed that he met Kaka while serving in the Army’s Anti-Bunkering Unit. Their criminal activities included warehouse raids and hijacking trailers. They used military gear and a white Hilux van to intimidate and assault drivers, then diverted the goods to waiting receivers.

West’s confession led to the arrest of three other Army personnel: Lance Corporal Abdul Musa (13NA/70/10545), Lance Corporal Mgbe Jeoffrey (16NA/75/6896), and Corporal Innocent Okwoli (12NA/68/6552). Additionally, eight civilian collaborators were apprehended: Olisa Emeka, George Obilor, Sampson Wilson, Alfred Abeke, Barry John, Auwalu Aliyu, Uchenna Nwali, and Alhaji Sofinu Haruna.

Corporal Innocent Okwoli, a native of Otakpo in Benue State, was identified as the group’s key coordinator. He started leading hijacking operations after being introduced to the activity by an individual named Abbas and two unnamed Naval officers. Among their crimes were the hijacking of a trailer loaded with fertiliser worth N25 million on February 17, 2024, the attempted burglary on March 4, 2024, and the hijacking of a 40-foot container of imported clothing and a trailer of POP cement in February 2024. The police have recovered the stolen POP cement and the white Toyota Hilux used in their operations.

The three implicated soldiers have been dismissed from the Nigerian Army and handed over to the police for prosecution. Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji Disu, commended the military for their cooperation and prompt action in addressing the misconduct. He praised the police officers involved in the arrest and urged continued vigilance.

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