Three members of a robbery gang have been killed by operatives attached to the Ebonyi State Police Command.
The persons were part of the group of armed men responsible for a foiled robbery on a commercial bank in the Onueke area of the state on Tuesday last week.
Mr Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, confirmed the killing of the armed robbers – comprising two men and a woman – by the police in a statement on Sunday.
He noted that the security team led by the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, Aliyu Garba, stormed the hideout of suspects indicted in the investigations on Thursday.
Upon sighting the police squad at their lair in Oriuzo village in Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, the suspects and their cohorts opened fire on them after which a gunfight ensued.
“At the end, three members of the gang, including two males and one female met their waterloo following bullet injuries sustained during the exchange of gunfire. Other suspects fled in different directions,” Mba said in the statement.
During the operation, the police recovered two Ak47 rifles, five pump action guns, six pistols, 50 Ak47 ammunition, 126 cartridges, Jack knives, and cutlasses.
A 40-page notebook containing inventories of ammunition purchased by the gang, and a Honda Pilot SUV said to have been used for the foiled bank robbery were also recovered by the security team.
“Unrelenting in their quest to apprehend the remaining suspects, the police team traced the suspects to a shrine where the robbers usually go for mystical powers before embarking on their robbery operations.
“Two of the suspects were eventually arrested from the supposedly safe haven – the shrine, which led to the arrest of additional three members of the gang,” the police spokesman added.
According to him, efforts are ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang and their spiritual godfather who is the chief priest of the shrine.
Elsewhere, Mba said the police intercepted 753 live ammunition of General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) concealed in a sack while being transported in a commercial vehicle from Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital to Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State.
He explained that the intelligence-driven covert operation that led to the interception and recovery of the ammunition was part of efforts by the police to identify and crackdown on criminal networks and supply chains for weapons and ammunition in and around the country.
The police spokesman stated that comprehensive investigations aimed at bringing to book all persons linked to the crime were ongoing.
In his reaction, the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, commended the police commissioner in Ebonyi and officers of the command for the feat recorded.
He also assured residents of the renewed commitment of the police to improving public safety and combating all forms of violent crimes across the country.