No fewer than eight suspected kidnappers were killed by operatives of the Rivers State Police Command during a fierce gun battle in various parts of the state.
killed were three armed robbers, who engaged the policemen in a gun duel in Port Harcourt and its environs.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Musa Kibo, said the new strategy adopted by the command had made it possible to apprehend some of the criminals and recover arms and ammunition.
Stating that six armed robbery and seven kidnap suspects were arrested, Kibo disclosed that six kidnap victims were rescued from various criminal hideouts in the state.
He pointed out that apart from the arrest of suspected kidnappers and armed robbers within the past one week, six suspected cultists were also apprehended by operatives of the command.
Kibo, who spoke with newsmen on Monday at the State Police Command in Port Harcourt, identified arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects as three AK-47 rifles, 11 pump action, two short guns, three double barrel guns, three single barrel guns, 25 assorted ammunition and 76 cartridges.
He said nine vehicles were also recovered from the suspected criminals.
“On 16/09/2015 at about 10pm by Christ Avenue, Off Reclamation Road, Port Harcourt, our operatives, acting on a tip-off, raided a hideout of a criminal gang that specialized in robbing unsuspecting members of the public and recovered six assorted suspected stolen vehicles, including a BMW X5 Jeep with registration number Lagod FKJ 673 DM.
“On 18/09/2015 at about 2pm, police patrol team at Igbo Etche intercepted a four-man armed robbery gang. Three of the suspects were killed during an exchange of fire.
“Earlier, a team of policemen raided a kidnappers’ hideout around Bille and safely rescued one Monday Elahor, who was abducted on September 2, 2015. Elahor was rescued after a stiff resistance from the suspected kidnappers.
“Three of the kidnappers killed while one of them, Chukwu Paul, was arrested. One AK-47 rifle, five rounds of 7.62 live ammunition and four machetes and charms were recovered at the scene,” Kibo said.
The state police commissioner also identified one Samuel Chijor (23) and two others, who were arrested for being involved in cult activities.
Chijor was alleged to have been responsible for some of the killings in Onne, Eleme Locl Government Area of Rivers State.
Kibo warned criminals in the state to either relocate from the state or turn a new leaf and become responsible citizens of the country, adding that the onslaught against hoodlums would be sustained until crime was brought to a tolerable level.
“I have also directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to redouble their efforts in crime fighting by embarking on massive raids of suspected criminal hideouts and black spots,” the state police boss said.
He thanked members of the public for assisting the command with timely and credible information.