The Nigeria Police Force and the African Union Police (Afripol), International Police (Interpol) and the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPPCO) have begun talks to stem the flow of arms from Europe, the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) into the country.
The collaboration, the police said yesterday in Abuja, is part of efforts to curb the supply of arms, ammunition and drugs to bandits and insurgents in a bid to combat the security crisis in the country.
Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police (CP), said while parading 50 suspects involved in gun-running, unlawful possession of arms, kidnapping, armed robbery and other crimes, that detectives were closing in on arms’ manufacturers with a view to breaking up the supply chain.
He added that the police were partnering international crime organisations and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to contain arms smuggling and drug peddling, that are fuelling banditry and insurgency.
“We are making efforts to cut off supplies to armed bandits. If we are able to cause a draught of weapons flow, we will be able to make it easier for security agencies to overrun them and make it easier for them to operate.
“We are working with international partners, Interpol, Afripol and WAPCCO to stem the flow of arms from Europe, the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea,” he stated.
He paraded 50 crime suspects, five cartons of tramadol drugs and four bags of Indian hemp.
Two of the suspects, Suleiman Tukur and Marcus Danladi, arrested for gun running, confessed to their involvement in supplying arms to a bandit leader in Kaduna.
Mba said when the police swooped on the bandit leader’s house, he fled, leaving behind 201ammunition with a family where all the members were involved in arms’ distribution.
Danladi said he delivered 700 ammunition in his first supply to the bandits and 1,555 in the second supply.
He said the ammunition was conveyed in a car and hidden in a compartment under the boot.
The suspect said each trip fetched him N115, 000.
Two other suspects, Daniel Baba and Andrew Gbagi, arrested for trade in illicit weapons, sold four AK-47 rifles and six locally made pistols to bandits.
One of the suspects, Gabriel Yawe, initially arrested and detained in Kano prison from where he was moved to Kaduna, where he was granted pardon by the governor, later returned to crime.
Mba said the suspect received shotguns from suppliers at the rate of N50,000 and resold at N70,000.
“Efforts are on to track members of the gang, who are on the run. It is part of efforts to mop up weapons in circulation and block the flow to ensure the nation is rid of armed banditry and other crimes,” he said.