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38-man international arms smuggling syndicate arrested, over 600 arms recovered

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Joy Anyim
Thirty-eight suspects were, on Monday, paraded by the police, in Abuja, for arms smuggling, kidnapping and armed robbery.
The criminal gangs who were arrested during Operation PUFF ADDER, operate between parts of North African, the Sahel region and West African countries.
A total of 6000 AK47 live ammunition were recovered from the suspects who were paraded by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank MBA, a Deputy Commission of Police (DCP), at the Force Headquarters.
According to Mba, the unrelenting efforts of operatives of the Intelligence Response Unit (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit and the Special Forces attached to Operation PUFF ADDER have resulted in the arrests.
Mba said some of the suspects were arrested at Saki town, Nigeria-Benin Republic border in Oyo State.
“Investigation revealed that the syndicate specialized in smuggling small arms, light weapons and ammunition from North Africa through the Sahel region and supplying same to their criminal partners – kidnappers, armed robbers, political thugs and other criminal elements – in Nigeria and other West African countries.
” In addition, another set of 24 AK47 rifles, four pump action guns, 11 Dane guns, 10 English Pistols, two single barrel guns, one set of army camouflage uniform and 22 live cartridges were recovered from other criminal gangs in different parts of the country.
“A total of 38 suspects were arrested for their different roles in various criminal operations ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and cattle rustling.
” The Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, appreciates the general public for providing useful information to the Police. He also  commends his men for this and many other feats as he re-assures the nation that the Police will continually work round the clock along with other security agencies towards ensuring improved border security, control of arms proliferation and combating kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes across the country.”