The Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of three suspected members of a gang involved in robbery of bank customers.
The suspects, identified as Hyacinth Bright, Menford John and John Chibueze, were arrested at Eket on November 3, at about 14.15pm, according to the police.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, told journalists in Uyo that the suspects were arrested following a distress call that armed robbers were operating at a fast food restaurant opposite First Bank in Eket.
He disclosed that one Nkereuwem Akpan, who withdrew N1m from the bank was trailed and blocked by the suspects and robbed of the said amount.
Muazu said, “It will interest you to know that we have finally arrested the notorious gang responsible for a series of bank-related robberies in the state.
“The suspects, namely Hyacinth Bright; Menford John, and John Chibueze, were arrested on November 3, 2017 at about 14.15 hours, at Eket, following a sustained monitoring.
“Our team at Eket received a distress call that armed robbery operation was ongoing at a fast food restaurant, Food Affairs, opposite First Bank, Eket.
“One Nkereuwem Akpan withdrew N1m from First Bank, Eket. The robbery suspects trailed, blocked the man and carted away his money.
“We have also recovered one Toyota Avalon with registration number Anambra NCH 28 ST, with ignition key, N521,300, one Techno phone, different Automated Teller Machine cards and more from the hoodlums.”
The police commissioner also disclosed that the command’s Anti-Kidnapping Squad on Tuesday arrested four kidnappers at Etim Ekpo and recovered two locally-made pistols from them.
He said 104 suspects had been arrested in the state in the past one month for various offences ranging from cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, child stealing/selling to other crimes.
“Two AK47 rifles with three magazines and 18 rounds of live ammunition had been recovered from the hoodlums; one assault rifle; two pump-action gun; one berretta pistol with eight rounds of live ammunition; eight locally-made pistols and one single-barreled gun with 12 live cartridges have been recovered.
“One Lexus jeep, one Toyota Corolla and one Toyota Camry; and a cash of N2,870,000 were recovered from the hoodlums,” Muazu said.
One of the suspects, Bright, 31, who is an indigene of Onne in Rivers State, told Southern City News that he was a father of three children.
He confessed to robbing the First Bank customer of the money.
“I was arrested not with arms but with N500,000. I robbed a customer of First Bank of the money. Somebody withdrew and misplaced the money, so, I picked it up from where he left the money. I just started this business about a year ago.
“I have not killed any of my victims. I don’t rob banks but only the people that come from the banks. I don’t hang around bank premises. If somebody withdraws money, I will know. I don’t use charms. I enter the bank, and pretend to be filling tellers while waiting for those who will withdraw large sums. I know how much each person will withdraw.
“As at 2013, I used to vandalise oil pipelines at Onega. I used some of the money I made to establish a boutique in Eket,” he said.