(Photo) Police arrest suspected militants planning to rob five banks

Attempts by suspected militants to attack several commercial banks in Lagos have been foiled by the Inspector General of Police’ (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

This is just as four suspected members of the gang of notorious kidnapper, America, and a guard attached to one of the banks were arrested at Ajah and Ikorodu areas of the state.

The banks targeted, the police said, were Zenith and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Lekki, as well as FCMB, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and Keystone Bank in Ajah.

It was gathered that the gang was behind Thursday last week’s abduction of six pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla.

According to the police, Abiodun Olaroye (Gbeleju), 38, Ebipatgh Tuwei (Segun), 47, Benjamin Powei (Ben), 42, Samuel Chinedu (Hitman), 30, and Samuel Innocent Ikechukwu (IK), 33, were arrested on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the suspects were picked up following credible intelligence and they confessed that plans had been perfected to attack five banks in the state.

The police said Tuwei confessed to have participated in the ambush that killed four policemen and an Army Captain.

The five militants were said to have been sent by America, their leader, from the creek to survey the banks and hire two operational buses that would be used to convey them to and fro the river banks in the course of the attack.

It was gathered that the banks were marked because of their proximity to river banks.

“All the suspects arrested confessed to the planned bank robberies and confirmed that they were sent by their boss in the creek, America, to survey the five banks together with the guard who tipped the militants off.
“They also said America fixed Wednesday June 1, for the attack, but his boys were arrested before then. The suspects are cooperating with detectives in the Investigation. Serious efforts to arrest the gang leader, other members and rescue the school children, the police said, were in progress.
Tuwei, a suspected member of the deadly gang, however, said he was sleeping in another of the suspects’ house when he heard that the gang, led by America, had shot an Army captain and four policemen in Isawo area of Ikorodu, Lagos.

Forty-seven-year-old Segun Tuwei, however, said he did not know that the shot soldier and police officers died until he and other members of the gang heard about it from the news media after an exchange of gunfire the gang had with some securitymen.
A member of the gang named Benjamin was said to have escaped when the IRT operatives arrived his house, but his wife was arrested.

From his hideout, Benjamin was said to have sent Segun Tuwei, a suspected member of the gang, to the police station to secure his wife’s bail.

The police was said to have honoured his request for bail, which later helped them to arrest Benjamin.

The suspects revealed that the gang used to set ablaze any car or bus it used for operation to avoid the vehicles being traced to them.

The Nation
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