Police nab 67 armed robbery suspects, cult members in Akwa Ibom

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The Police Command in Akwa Ibom said it had arrested 67 suspected armed robbers and cult members in different hideouts in the state.

The command’s spokesman, Bala Elkana, who made the disclosure on Friday in Uyo, said among those arrested were one Miracle Etukudoh, 20, leader of a notorious armed robbery syndicate in the state.

Mr Elkana, a deputy superintendent of police, said police operatives arrested Mr Etukudoh  who resides at Effiat Offot Village in Uyo Local Government Area on December 7.

He said the gang specialised in robbing people of their valuables such as cell phones, handbags and cash around Uyo and environs.

He said his arrest led to the arrest of three other gang members while in possession of one locally-made pistol at Ikot Oduot Village in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.

The spokesman said all the suspects had made confessional statements of belonging to ‘REDSKIN’ cult group.

He said the suspects had been charged to court.

Mr Elkana further said police operatives had between December 9 and 10, arrested one Ernest Bassey, the leader of a seven-member cult group in their hideout.

He said that they were arrested at 4, Eyo-Abasi Estate, Isangedighi Lane, Oron, where they had converged for a secret meeting.

He said police operatives recovered from them one locally-made pistol and photographs of other suspected members of the cult group.

The spokesman also said 12 suspected cultists were arrested by the police in Abak Town following intelligence report.

He disclosed that police recovered from them military belts, binoculars, one locally-made single barrel pistol and Navy beret.

He said the suspects had confessed to being members of a secret cult engaged in various crimes in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and its environs.

Mr Elkana added that both cases had been charged to court.

He further said that a combined team of police operatives and Operation Thunder, Akwa Ibom , at Ikwe village in Onna Local Government Area, arrested 20 suspected cult members.

He said the suspects belonged to two different cult groups; “ISAKABA” and “EKPAT”.

“The following items were recovered from them: one locally-made pistol; five machetes and two jack knives.

“The suspects have been charged to court and remanded in prison custody,” the spokesman added.

NAN