About ten notorious criminals, who specialise in snatching people’s property in Cross River State at gun point, have been nabbed by the Cross River State branch of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at different locations in the state.
Cross River State Commander of SARS, Victor James Usang, made the remark, yesterday, while fielding questions from our correspondent in Calabar, in a telephone interview, stressing that the command will leave no stone unturned until all criminal elements troubling residents of the state are pinned down, brought to book so that the escalating rate of crime is reduced to the barest level in the state.
Usang, stated that officers and men of the command, last week, made some major breakthroughs when a gang of armed robbers was crushed.
“There was an armed robbery incident in Ogoja local government area of the state, where one Igbo filling station along Government Reserved Area Road was attacked and N700, 000 carted away by two men, of age ranging below 25, Ogar David and Edward Ugbe.
According to the commandant of SARS, “The two men have been arrested and a locally made pistol and one cartridge as well as N92, 000 was recovered from the criminals”.
Usang maintained that men of the command also prevented another robbery incident where one Njomano Egom Ndifon, was robbed of N900,000 by one Mr Okon Asuquo Ekpenyong and his gang in Awi, few kilometres from the state capital, Akamkpa local government area of Cross River State, adding that through a tip off, men of SARS swung into action and got the robbery gang crushed.
In his words, the SARS boss said,“Okon Asukwo Ekpenyong, has been arrested and a sum of N98, 000 recovered from him and when we conducted search in his house, we recovered a locally made pistol and two microscopes allegedly belonging to a secondary school in the area, adding that SARS is going to go after some gang members, who were said to be accomplices with one Mr Otor Agbor Ofem, who is already in police net for robbing two ladies of their phones with a sum of N20,000.
According to the SARS helmsman, “He is from Yakurr local government area of the state. He has been arrested and we are strategising with a view to arresting other gang members.
“In Calabar South, on Wednesday, at about 2pm, four young men, suspected to be members of Vikings confraternity, had an argument and in the process, one of them slapped the other out of provocation.
“The one that was slapped became angry and pulled out a locally made pistol that was with him and fired the one that slapped him on his right ribs and he died on the spot”.
The SARS commander, stressed that the incident took place at Bocobiri, Hausa’s quarters in Calabar metropolis, also in Calabar South Local Government of the state, adding that the corps of the deceased has been deposited at the mortuary in Calabar with investigations being carried out to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the shooting of the deceased, stressing that the suspect is in police custody.
Other issues, which he said the command would deal with, include the killing of an igbo man by name, “Double chief”, who was killed at eight miles by two suspected armed bandits, stressing that the suspected killers are at present, cooling their feet in police net pending when investigations into the killing of the igbo man will be completed so the that suspects can be charged to court.
“Another notorious armed robber, known for terrorising residents of Essien Town and eight miles and its environs, was shot by security operatives while attempting to rob some residents at MCC in Calabar Municipal by 10 am on Tuesday.’’
“His name is Ekpri Effiom alias Kpokar. He met his waterloo that morning and while searching his body, we recovered locally made pistol from his waist and a cartridge,” the SARS boss added.
He further said that, statistics on ground shows that crime rate in the state and its environs, has drastically reduced even though not totally eradicated, stressing that most of the boys known to be notorious for kidnapping and armed robbery had been nabbed and put in SARS’ custody.
“We are clamping down on these robbers and the state commissioner of police, Hafiz Inuwa, isn’t relenting and he is ever ready to deal with all criminals in this town so that people can sleep with their eyes close.
“Calabar is still relatively peaceful as compared to other states, even though we have one or two skirmishes here and there.
“We have intensified our patrol and have increased our surveillance. We will conduct thorough search in all criminal hideouts in the state, including Akpabuyo, Akamkpa Bakassi and others.”
The SARS commandant urged residents of the state to see it as a duty to give useful information that can lead to arrest of these criminals by the police so that police can go after these criminals.
‘I tell you, if this is done, I can assure you that the police will do their best to clamp down of any criminal element operating in the state,” the Commander of SARS assured.
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