NDLEA arrests bandits, arms manufacturer in Katsina, Benue, seizes weapons

August 12, 2021
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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested three armed bandits, Adamu Shehu, Tukur Mohammed and Ibrahim Suleiman, while on an attack mission in Katsina State, with three AK-47 rifles, among other items recovered from them.

The agency also arrested who it described as “a heavy weapon manufacturer,” Celestine Chidiebere, with a high calibre G3 rifle along with 78 rounds of live ammunition of 7.62mm calibre and five empty shells of same in Benue.

Chidiebere was arrested while trying to move the heavy weapon and ammunition to Jos, Plateau State.

A statement issued on Thursday by the NDLEA Director (Media and Advocacy), Femi Babafemi, said the arrests and seizures were made at the agency’s checkpoints in the two states, where narcotic officers stopped and searched vehicles for illicit drugs.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), said the agency would continue to support efforts by other security agencies, especially the armed forces, to restore law and order across the country.

He said, “The three armed bandits were arrested by our officers on patrol in Malumfashi LGA of Katsina on Thursday, August 5, on their way from the Igabi LGA of Kaduna State to Kankara LGA in Katsina for another devilish mission.

“A Toyota Corolla with the number plate, Kaduna TRK 149 AE, three AK-47 rifles with magazines and ammunition, different types of charms, rings, cash and other items, were recovered from them. I have since directed they be handed over to the Army Brigade in Katsina for further investigation.”

Speaking on the transfer of the high calibre weapon manufacturer to the NDLEA headquarters in Abuja, Marwa said, “From the briefs given by the Benue State Command, the suspect was arrested on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, at exactly 6.30am, in a bus belonging to Chi-Boy Transport Company, en route Onitsha to Jos when the vehicle was flagged down at Aliade checkpoint for search.

“In the process, an iron box completely welded end to end was found in the vehicle, and when the passengers were questioned to know the owner, the suspect accepted ownership.

“When the steel box was taken to the state command headquarters along with the suspect, an electric filing machine was used to cut it open. A fabricated high calibre G3 rifle, along with 78 rounds of live ammunition of 7.62mm calibre and five empty shells of same were discovered inside.

“However, I asked that Celestine Christian be transferred to Abuja because of the calibre of weapon found with him, which he claimed he manufactured.”

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