No fewer than 22 suspected criminals, including seven females have been arrested by the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service.
The suspects were arrested in connection with alleged cult activities, drug abuse and robbery in the state as the vigilance group raided their hideouts.
Acting Chairman, Bayelsa State Vigilante Service, Mr Doubiye Alagba, said in an interview on Wednesday that the group had arrested 22 suspected hoodlums in less than two weeks in connection with cult activities, drug abuse and other criminal activities.
Alagba, who said the feat was achieved in collaboration with the state’s Volunteer Security Outfit, said out of those apprehended, 15 were males and seven were females.
He said the security outfit carried out some unscheduled raids on criminal hotspots such as Tombia, Ovom, Customs Street and Obele areas of Yenagoa, the state capital.
He said the arrest of the suspected hoodlums revealed that they were mainly involved in cultism, drug abuse and peddling as well as robberies.
Alagba said the suspects had been handed over to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Bayelsa State Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.
He said the arrested girls were found to be drug addicts and running errands for different cult groups in the state capital.
He also said that in their operation last Saturday, the vigilance group in concert with the police operatives attached to them recovered some wraps of cocaine and heroine, weapons, live cartridges and stolen phones.
He appealed to the members of the public to volunteer useful information that would lead to the apprehension of criminals terrorising the state lately.
He further said that from the interrogation of some of the arrested suspects, they were able to find out that most of the criminals causing insecurity, uprising and unrest were at large as the outfit intensified manhunt on them.
He lamented the high rate of drug abuse indulged by the suspected criminals, saying that the outfit would partner the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to arrest most of the pharmacy owners and stores selling drugs to criminals without proper prescriptions.
He also said that the drug abuse among teenagers in the state was alarming, stressing that the legal department of the outfit was doing a proper follow up on all those arrested to ensure they were prosecuted.