The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ene Okon, has said that personnel of the state police command have arrested 21 kidnap suspects over the last three weeks.
Speaking in Umuahia, Okon attributed the success of the command to the launch of the Operation Puff Adder by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.
He said the operation, which was aimed at flushing out kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists from the country, had yielded positive results in the state.
Okon added that the command also utilised the community policing strategy in its fight against criminals in the period under review.
He stated, “Community policing, simply put, is police partnership with community leaders, groups, neighbourhood watch, hunters and market leaders in the state.
“The strategy has tremendously paid off as members of the public have embraced security as a collective responsibility and we have achieved reduction in the crime rate.”
Some of the arrested suspects were identified as Chinoyerem Udo, Chinwendu Chinoyerem and Onyekachi Amanze.
The CP added that they were arrested by policemen attached to the Aba Area Command following a tip-off.
Okon stated that three locally-made single-barrelled guns were recovered from the suspects, who confessed to several kidnapping incidents in Aba and its environs.
Some other suspects, according to the CP, are Chimaobi Joel, Sunday Emmanuel, Ukachukwu Udo and Nkereuwen Etim.
The state police boss explained that the suspects were arrested following a distress call received about the kidnap of one Akowundu Joshua in Aba.
He added that the command’s anti-kidnapping team tracked the hoodlums to their hideout in Akwa Ibom State and arrested them, while two of their hostages were rescued unhurt.
Okon said live cartridges, mobile phones and many phone SIM cards were recovered from the suspects.
The CP pointed out that the suspects would be charged to court at the end of police investigation, while efforts were ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the gang.