A middle-aged woman, Ms Uju Ibeh, believed to be the leader of a car theft syndicate, has been arrested by the police in the FCT.
Parading the suspect before journalists, the police public relations officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police (SP) Jimoh Moshood, said her arrest followed the theft of a Toyota Matrix on July 17, 2011.
He said the owner of the car reported to the police that the car with registration number Abuja BW 845 BWR, was snatched at gunpoint at about 11pm, around Garki District.
Information provided by the victim, the spokesperson said led the police to the gang’s hideout, where the hoodlums opened fire on the patrol team, leading to an exchange of gunfire between the gang and the police.
He explained that two suspects, Chiweke Ugwu and Ushie Kenechukwu sustained multiple gunshot injuries and died on the way to the hospital, after the police arrested Ms Ibeh who was later found to be the leader of the gang.
“Investigation revealed that Uju Ibeh is the leader of the gang. She brought the gang together, directs their operations and always escorts the snatched vehicles to criminal receivers in several northern states and the Niger Republic.
“Two anti-car tracking devices and three English Beretta guns with 74 rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the suspects during the raid,” Jimoh said.
He further stated that the principal suspect led the police to the receiver of the stolen vehicles, Mohammed Bello, who confessed to the crimes alongside his accomplices, who are now at large.
The PPRO maintained that investigation was ongoing to recover other stolen vehicles as well as the Toyota Matrix car, which theft led to the smashing of the gang, while the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigation.
While speaking with LEADERSHIP, the suspect confessed to the crime. She, however, insisted that the guns and ammunition were not recovered from her.
She claimed she did not know the cars were stolen but agreed she was apprehended with the anti-car tracking device in her possession, which she also accepted to have used while taking the cars to the receivers.