Taraba: Police apprehend 13 Suspected bandits, ‘reject’ bribe

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The Police Command in Taraba State has apprehended thirteen individuals suspected to be bandits and kidnappers, who were on their watchlist for causing fear among the residents of Jalingo, Yorro, Lau, and Zing local government areas of the state.

This information was revealed by the State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Eribo, during the presentation of the suspects and their seized items at the police headquarters in Jalingo, the state capital, on Wednesday.

The arrests came in response to public concerns about the criminal activities of these individuals, which, as stated by the police, had reached a concerning level.

The police mentioned that the bandits utilize the nearby mountains as cover, making any rescue attempts or efforts to confront them result in unintended harm. Consequently, the police decided to deploy all available operational resources to address this growing issue.

After a joint operation involving the police, sister security agencies, vigilante officers, and professional hunters, thirteen bandits were apprehended in various parts of the state. Despite a bribe attempt with over N8 million in cash ransom, the law enforcement successfully rejected it. Additionally, the operation led to the recovery of five AK-47 rifles, five rounds of live ammunition, and the rescue of five kidnap victims.

In a separate incident, three electricity vandals were arrested for trespassing and vandalizing the electricity transformer at the police headquarters, as well as the transformer belonging to the Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) in the Lau Local Government Area of the state.

During the interrogation process, the bandits and kidnappers revealed that they often collaborate with electricity vandals to damage transformers, providing them with easy access to carry out kidnappings or violence in communities experiencing power outages, particularly during the night.

The police also apprehended a suspect involved in armed robbery, who had stolen a vehicle from a victim, but the stolen vehicle was subsequently recovered by law enforcement.

Among the arrested individuals are bandits accused of orchestrating the kidnapping of a traditional ruler, a pastor, and an imam, as well as a kidnapper who reportedly collected over N8 million in ransom, among others. These suspects have confessed to their involvement in the crimes.

The police have announced their intention to charge all the suspects in accordance with the state’s anti-kidnapping laws, ensuring that justice is served.