One person was gunned down, while three others sustained injuries during gun battle between the police and suspected robbers at Ngborokpo village in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, yesterday.
Also, 17 suspected robbers were arrested by the police where three AK 47 riffles, two pump action guns, four locally made pistols, some quantity of ammunition, a television set and a teddy bear which they used in concealing guns were recovered.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the Anambra State Police command, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, told newsmen at the headquarters of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area, that the 17 suspects were arrested in various parts of the state for variuos offences, including bank robbery.
Among the suspects was a 16-year-old Ifeanyi Onwe said to be a specialist in bank robbery. He was said to be using beautiful girls to track people that withdrew large sums of money from the banks.
He said: “I was a student in a secondary school in Onitsha before I dropped out in JSS 1 because my parents could not fund my education. Thereafter, I met a friend who introduced me into this deal. We have carried out many robbery operations in Onitsha and its environs.”
According to Chukwuemeka, some of the suspects were in the habit of blocking major roads in Nawfia, Awgbu, Ufuma, Abba, among other areas where they robbed people.
The PPRO alleged that some of the suspects were also involved in the killing of a 55-year-old man in Awgbu and another woman at Nanka four days ago, as well as in the raping of girls in parts of the state.
He said: “To the ordinary eye, the TV set and the teddy bear they were carrying were just what they were meant to be. But for this gang, what they do is to open the TV set and rip open the teddy’s tummy, conceal pistols and ammunition in them and when they enter any vehicle, nobody will know they had guns until they begin operation.
“They invented this style to escape from the police and other security agencies, but our men were able to beat them to their game.”