POLICEWOMAN NABBED FOR CAR SNATCHING IN PORTHARCOURT

Lilian and Eme

The Police in Rivers State have smatched two gangs of suspected armed robbers that specialized in car snatching, in Port Harcourt, from where they were taken to different parts of the country, especially the North, to sell.

Two sophisticated rifles, an AK-47 and AR rifle were recovered from two robbers who were alleged to be right in the act of sharing their ammunition, when the police caught them.

One of them was said to have escaped, while the other was seriously injured. The two rifles were found inside their Mercedes 230 car.

A total of 19 cars were recovered from the different robbery suspects, from different gangs, including Honda Accord, Nissan Sunny, Gulf, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Altima, Mazda 626, Toyota Hiace, among others.

Also in police net are two officers, male and female constables. The man allegedly engaged in car snatching with members of his gang. The woman, on the other hand, was alleged to have assisted another gang to transport a stolen car from Port Harcourt to Umunze in Anambra State.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, who spoke to reporters at Elimgbu Police Station, said that the two police officers had been dismissed, stressing that the police would not tolerate the involvement of its own in criminal activities.

The head of one of the gangs, Anthony Anozili, 27, who confessed to the crime, said that he used to be a child of God, but backslide and went into crime. He said that his gang, which started operation this year, sold some of the stolen cars to one Barrister Promise Okafor.

“Before I was caught, I had a gang that specialized in snatching peoples’ cars. We usually take the cars to far away places. We sold some of the cars to Barr. Promise Okafor who stays in Umunze. So, I am pleading to God to forgive me for my sins,” said Anozili.

Anozili further explained that the female police constable, Lillian Ibeku, escorted the gang once to Umunze in Anambra State, adding that she was a cousin to one of the gang members, Uche Ibeku, who introduced her to the gang.

He noted that Lillian was aware that the cars were stolen even before she accepted to escort them to their destination. Lillian’s cousin, Uche Ibeku, also said that Lillian was aware that the cars she was escorting were stolen ones.

But Lillian, who looked composed, said that she was not aware that the cars were stolen ones. She insisted that when she asked her cousin, who owned the cars, he told her that they belonged to his boss.

She added: “When my cousin called me, I was with him and his friend. We were going to Abia State. I asked him who owns these cars because I am aware that he owns a car. He said that his boss gave them to him to deliver to one lawyer. So, I went there with him, and returned without any problem.

“On Monday, I was arrested and told that the cars I escorted are stolen cars. I never knew that they were stolen cars. He told me that we were going to the village. I have not been escorting cars before!”

The police boss however alleged that the lady had left her Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Agency place of duty without permission to escort the vehicles.

Prince Eme, the other policeman allegedly involved in car snatching, denied his involvement, but was only arrested for driving a stolen car for a friend. He said that he was arrested for ‘illegal escort’.

But the police commissioner said: “In his own case, he partakes in the snatching. Nemesis caught up with him when he tried to cross into Abia State with one of the stolen vehicles. Our boys engaged him and he was shot on the shoulder. But the following day, he came to the station to report that he was sick and because there was already an existing suspicion on him, the DPO alerted us. He was arrested and the confessions of what I just told you followed.

“Gentlemen of the press, you will agree with me that this kind of misconduct is very dangerous to police officers and in particular to the safety of lives and property of members of the public. We decided to take this stance in order to show how serious we are with regards to fighting criminals, wherever they may be, and wherever they may come from.”

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