The Rivers State Police Command has arrested an infant trafficking syndicate along Rumuekini – Choba, East-West road, Port Harcourt and recovered two babies bought at the sum of N2.8 million.
The state Commissioner of Police, Nwonyi Emeka, while parading different suspects at the Command headquarters, Moscow road, Port Harcourt on Friday, revealed that the syndicate were caught at a police check point during stop and search operation.
He said the prime suspect after her arrest could not give satisfactory account of the two-day old infants she and her fleeing husband were traveling with, adding that the prime suspect upon interrogation, confessed that the infants were to be sold at the sum of N2.8 million.
He added: “Operatives of Anti-Cultism unit, conducted a vital operation on Thursday, 5th of October, 2023. While on intensive patrol along Rumuekini – Choba, East-West Road, Port Harcourt, they intercepted a Toyota Sienna carrying occupants with suspicious behavior.
“Upon conducting a search, we discovered twin babies, a male and a female, both approximately two days old, in the company of one Peace Effiong who could not provide a satisfactory account of the babies’ origin. Her alleged husband, an unknown man, fled, abandoning one of the babies.
“She confessed to the crime that she was introduced by a friend in Lagos to procure these newborn babies in Port Harcourt for the sum of two million eight hundred thousand naira (N2,800,000.00).
“We have initiated an investigation to apprehend other suspects involved.”
The CP also said operatives of the Command have arrested three cultists at the Rivers State University.
He added that the arrest followed a distress call it received from the chief security officer of the institution, noting that the three arrested suspects were caught while attempting to escape from the University campus after attacking and injuring a young man whose identity is yet to be ascertained.
Emeka said: “Officers attached to the Nkpolu Division received a distress call from the acting Chief Security officer of a particular institution (name withheld) that some young men in a vehicle attacked and wounded another young man inside the campus.
“Our men quickly swung into and intercepted the suspects in a car at the institution’s main gate and when search was conducted, three sharp English axes and a locally made pistol were recovered as investigation is ongoing.”
He further disclosed that three notorious armed robbers were arrested on Friday, September 29, 2023 along Rumukwushi tank flyover of the state after burgling a rice dealer’s shop by a patrol team.
“On the 29/09/2023 at about 0155hrs, a patrol team on stop and search along Rumukwurushi by Tank Flyover received a distress call that a rice dealer shop at white house/pipeline by oil-mill was burgled.
“The team immediately moved to the scene, and in the process, three suspects namely; Jackrich Ogbete ‘m’ aged 44yrs, Chibuzor Madufor ‘M,’ aged 35yrs and Benson Amos ‘M,’ aged 56yrs were arrested.
Emeka noted that items recovered from the suspects included a Toyota Hilux, a Toyota Sienna, green-colored military cardigan and a military cap, adding that operatives were on the trail of fleeing gang members.
“Two Magnum Jojef pump action guns with breach numbers 20SL-1315 and 20SL-0223, a Toyota Hilux with registration number KHE 37 EW, a Toyota Sienna Car with registration number FST69AU, one industrial Ingco bolt cutter, one big chisel, one iron bar, one Walkie-Talkie, one kitchen knife, a green-colored military cardigan, a military cap, a Nigerian Legion red beret, and three bags of rice were recovered from them.
“The suspects were later identified as the armed robbery gang responsible for a similar burglary at the same shop on August 9, 2023, at about 0237hrs, where one hundred fifty (150) bags of rice were carted away. Investigation is ongoing while efforts are on top gear to arrest other members of the gang.”