The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, who stated this on Tuesday in Asaba, frowned on the manner a hotel owner aided the escape of two other suspected kidnappers.
He said, “The DPO, Oghara division, received information from the DPO, New Etete Division, in Benin City, that a pastor was kidnapped in his Lexus 330 SUV with number plate KWL 510 BH, black in colour, on January 9, 2022. After a painstaking technical intelligence-led investigation, it was revealed that the vehicle was parked along Ibori Road in Oghara.
“The DPO, Oghara Division, detailed operatives to the area where the said vehicle was sighted. Upon sighting the vehicle, the operatives laid an ambush and waited for the suspects to show up.
“Three men later appeared to pick the vehicle and the operatives rounded them up. But two of the suspects escaped, while one of them, 36-year-old Osagie Felix, of H & H Ologbo, in Edo State, was arrested.
“Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to being a member of the kidnapping syndicate that kidnapped the Benin-based pastor.
“He led the operatives to Freedom View Hotel in Oghareki, where they were hibernating. Upon arrival at the hotel, the owner of the hotel aided the escape of other two suspects and ran away.”
Edafe said Felix further led operatives to his room in the hotel and upon a search, one cut-to-size double-barrelled pistol, six live cartridges and N410,000 which was part of the N500,000 ransom, were recovered.
He said the suspect also led operatives to another room where another double-barrelled pistol, 10 live cartridges and a laptop were recovered, while the victim’s vehicle was taken to the station.
The police spokesman noted that “a serious manhunt” for the fleeing suspects was ongoing.
In another development, two suspected Internet fraudsters have been arrested in Asaba with a double-barrelled pistol.
According to the PPRO, on January 8, 2022, a patrol team from the Eagle Net Special Squad while on a stop-and-search duty at the Maryam Babangida Junction in Asaba, intercepted a Toyota Camry with two male occupants — Daniel Anikpe, 27, and Chikeluba Ani, 27.
He said items recovered from them included one locally-made double-barrelled pistol, three live cartridges, one jackknife, two wraps of a substance suspected to be Indian hemp, one Samsung Galaxy, one iPhone, two black berets, a driving licence one GT bank ATM card, one hand chain and five finger rings.
“Investigation revealed that the suspects were into Internet fraud and one of them, Daniel Anikpe, admitted that he got the gun about eight months ago for N25,000 because issues bordering on sharing formula usually arose with his partners in crime, hence he bought the gun to exert revenge on whoever tried to swindle him of his ill-gotten money,” he added.
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