The Nigeria Police Force has issued a warning to motor park operators, warning them to be cautious since kidnappers have devised a new method of operating from the parks.
The warning was issued by the Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police (CP), as 34 alleged criminals, including two women, were paraded in Abuja on Tuesday.
The suspects were apprehended by Special Tactical Squad (STS) operatives for kidnapping, cattle rustling, cross-border automobile snatching, gun-running, and armed robbery, among other crimes.
The suspects were found with 11 grenades, five teargas canisters, two AK-47 rifles, and other weapons.
Kidnappers are now utilising designated motor parks as their operational centers in all states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, according to the Force Spokesman.
“Kidnappers would go to a prearranged motor park, load passengers, and leave the park in a lawful manner, then communicate with other members of their abduction gang about their whereabouts.
“Unbeknownst to them, the passengers would continue on their journey, only for the driver to pull over to the agreed-upon location, where all of the passengers would be kidnapped and the driver would be released,” Mba claimed.
According to him, the police became aware of the new tactic after the arrest of Basiru Sule, a 25-year-old Kano resident whose gang members were operating on highways in the country’s Northeast and North West zones.
As a result, he urged motor park operators around the country to take note of the new development and work closely with the police to monitor the activities of their employees and other criminal elements posing as drivers.
CP Mba promised that the police will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to apprehend and prosecute additional members of the kidnapping gang.
An 11-man kidnapping group, which included two ladies, was among those exhibited. The group, led by Mallam Musa Ibrahim, was alleged to be operating in Abuja and Kaduna before being apprehended.
Because of their gender and form of dress, the two ladies, according to Mba, played crucial roles in the movements of the kidnappers’ weapons. They frequently concealed firearms under their gowns.
Among those paraded was a group of trans-border car snatchers who specialized in stealing exotic cars in Nigeria and transporting them to neighboring Chad and the Niger Republic.
The suspects were found with 15 advanced cars, mostly Toyota models, two communication jammers, ECOWAS documents, and other incriminating things, according to the Force Spokesman.
Mba has therefore appealed to members of the public, particularly residents of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and other northern states whose cars have gone missing, to come to Abuja to inspect the recovered vehicles, promising that those who identify their vehicles with proof of ownership will have them released.