Nigeria: “Rivers State Police Apprehend 26 Suspected Car Snatchers and Fake Inspector in Major Bust”

Nigeria: “Rivers State Police Apprehend 26 Suspected Car Snatchers and Fake Inspector in Major Bust”

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

The Rivers State Police Command has made a significant breakthrough in combating car theft by apprehending 26 suspected car snatchers, including five individuals with previous convictions. This operation dismantled a syndicate engaged in stealing cars and selling them to buyers outside the state. The arrests followed numerous reports of stolen vehicles, some of which were taken from victims at gunpoint both within and outside Port Harcourt.

Additionally, among those apprehended was a fake police Inspector, along with the recovery of three luxury cars in his possession. Speaking to reporters at the command headquarters in Port Harcourt, the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, commended the swift action of the tactical unit and investigators, resulting in the arrest of Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe and Kelechi Uzogwe, identified as leaders of the syndicate.

Disu emphasized the significance of these arrests, highlighting Onyekwe’s role as the leader orchestrating car theft operations in Rivers State. Uzogwe, on the other hand, was noted for his expertise in removing vehicle trackers, facilitating the movement of stolen cars. According to Disu, the stolen vehicles were often transported to locations such as Anambra and Kano or even outside the country for resale.

The Commissioner revealed that a total of 79 stolen vehicles had been linked to the arrested suspects, with a surprising revelation that many of them had connections formed during their time in the Correctional Centre, with five being ex-convicts.

Detailing the modus operandi of the syndicate, Disu explained that the suspects possessed master keys, facilitating the theft and subsequent transportation of vehicles. Furthermore, he described how stolen cars were disguised as commercial vehicles, allowing them to pass through checkpoints undetected. Kelechi’s expertise in removing trackers played a crucial role in evading law enforcement.

Moreover, Disu disclosed the arrest of a former police Sergeant, who had been dismissed following his involvement in a kidnapping case in 2021. Despite his dismissal, the individual continued to pose as a police officer, even claiming the rank of Inspector. Operating with a gang of five, the ex-officer had been involved in the robbery of nine cars, selling them for substantial amounts.

The successful apprehension of these suspects marks a significant achievement for the Rivers State Police Command in its ongoing efforts to combat car theft and related crimes. The recovery of stolen vehicles and dismantling of criminal networks will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing security within the state.

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