The police said they had killed a dreade kidnap-for-ransom kingpin, Henry Chibueze, notoriously known as “Vampire” in Omu Awa forest, Ikwerre Local Government Area in Rivers state.
Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said late Chibueze was killed by the Police Special Forces, led by the I-G’s Intelligence Response Team at 1 a.m. on Thursday.
He said that five suspected members of the gang were also arrested and cache of arms and ammunition recovered from them.
Mr Moshood, a chief superintendent of police, said the gang had been responsible for many kidnappings and robbery attacks in Imo, Abia, Rivers, Delta and other states in the South-East and South-South.
He said that the arrested members of the gang would be presented to newsmen and charged to court on completion of investigation.
Mr Chibueze, the Vampire, was the criminal spirited away by his gang members on 27 January in the premises of an Owerri High Court.
He was arrested in 2015 and had been in prison custody following the kidnap of the wife of a government official.
Mr Chibueze who was brought to the court along with other arrested suspects escaped when gunmen in a sports utility vehicle which had been parked at the premises opened fire immediately he disembarked from the prison van.
The kidnapper was then spirited away by the gunmen, leaving five Prisons officials and some bystanders wounded by the gunfire. Two other suspects were stolen along with him.
The Public Relations officer of Prisons, James Madugba, said the accomplices had been mistaken for operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, hence no alarm was raised when they were spotted at the court.
Mr Chibueze who was paraded by the SSS before the state governor in 2015 admitted to carrying out several kidnappings in the state and beyond before his arrest.
After Mr Chibueze’s escape in January, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state announced a N5million bounty for information that would lead to his arrest.