The police in Bayelsa State have arrested 17 suspected criminals for various crimes ranging from armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and narcotics.
The suspects were paraded before the media on Wednesday at the state’s police headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The command also said it recovered 14 locally-made pistols, one dummy gun, two shotguns, a Beratta pistol, live ammunition, five live cartridges, 20 bags of Indian hemp, a Toyota Sequoia car with number-plate UD 639 KJA and a tricycle.
Addressing journalists after the parade, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Nkereuwem Apkan, said the suspects were arrested while police operatives were conducting intelligence-driven raids on criminal flashpoints during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Akpan stated, “On May 9, 2020, Ebi Collins, Emmanuel Benson and Monday Nweke, all males, were arrested while robbing one Peter Ebikabowei at a Point of Sale (POS) stand opposite the Yenagoa Local Government Area secretariat.
“A police officer who was at the scene to withdraw money, suspected their movements and alerted passers-by, who assisted him in arresting the suspects.
“The sum of N222,000, two locally-made pistols and two expended cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
“On 26 April, 2020, one Mrs Eyi Timinepre, a female from Tungbabiri community in Sagbama LGA was robbed of the sum of N550,000, two Tecno phones valued at N84,000 in her apartment at a gun point by one Peremobowei Eyitimbia, 33, Johnson Etete, 22, and Prosper Awara, 20.
“The said suspects were arrested and the sum of N160,000 and one Tecno phone were recovered from Eyitimbia.”
He also said on May 5, some members of a vigilance group along INEC Street, Kpansia, suspected one Dominic Kingsley, searched him and recovered one locally-made pistol.
He said Kingsley confessed to be a member of Bobos cult group.
The CP added, “On May 22, 2020, Safer Highway patrol team along the East-West Road by Zarama, stopped a Toyota Sequoia Jeep for a search, but the driver who wore a military uniform zoomed off.
“The team pursued the vehicle to the Glory Land Drive area of the East-West Road where the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran away. Upon search of the vehicle, the team discovered 20 bags loaded with weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp. Efforts have been intensified to identify the owner of the vehicle and arrest the suspect.
“On May 15, 2020, one Lucky Eniokon, 21, David Samuel, 22, and Gift, members of a three-man robbery gang entered a tricycle and threatened the driver to take them to INEC Road.
“Consequently, the armed robbers came out from the tricycle and started robbing customers and pedestrians at a POS stand. The tricycle zoomed off and alerted policemen who arrived at the scene and exchanged gunfires with the armed robbers.”
He said two of the armed robbers escaped with bullet wounds, while Eniokon was shot on the left knee and arrested.
He said a locally-made pistol and three cartridges were recovered from him.
The commissioner, who resumed office a few weeks ago, said the command had rejigged its security strategies to confront violent crimes in the state through focused and intelligence raids on flashpoints.