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Police nab kidnap kingpin, 5 gang members in Bayelsa

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Operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Police Command, has arrested the suspected ringleader of a notorious kidnapping syndicate, Longjohn Franklin, and his five gang members, who have been terrorising the state and neighbouring Niger Delta States.

The Bayelsa State Police Command’s spokesman, SP Asinim Butswat, told newsmen in a statement on Monday in Yenagoa that the suspected kidnapping gang was arrested with the aid of technical intelligence generated from the IGP Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) that led to the invasion of their hideouts in the state.

He said the kidnappers have been terrorising the coastal communities and waterways in the state for a very long time.

He identified the leading arrested suspect as LongJohn Franklin, male, 24-years-old, who is the gang’s ringleader and an ex-convict from Rivers State, who also engages in sea piracy and illegal refining.

Others are Goodluck Ikiyou, Chilowe Augustine, Thankgod Manasseh, Ogeneima Omoni, and Chimaobi Nmeribe.

He said “The suspects’ activities cut across Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States.

“They have made useful statements and identified Innocent Awelo Luke, Anthony Awelo Luke, Makiava and Ndubisi; a dismissed civil defence officer, as fleeing suspected gang members.

“Exhibits recovered from them include two (2) Toyota vehicles and pictorial/video evidence of General Suft and Chilowe Augustine displaying ransom collected from a kidnapped victim.”

He said efforts are still ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the syndicate.

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