Boko Haram members are planning to infiltrate security agencies, it was learnt yesterday.
Part of the plan is to insert an Improvised Explosives Devices specialist into the Army, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) said.
In a statement issued by its spokesman Tony Opuiyo, the DSS disclosed the increasing desperation and sophistication of criminal elements, noting that about 21 suspected assasins, fraudsters, kidnappers and others have been picked up during various operations across the country.
“In response to the regrouping of Boko Haram elements in Kano State, the Service in concert with the military, carried out coordinated operations in the State which led to the apprehension of two high profile members of the sect, namely Ibrahim Ustaz Abubakar and Idris Audu (aka A.Y.A.).
“Audu is an IED specialist who was being groomed to penetrate security agencies in the country; Audu had already perfected plans to seek for recruitment into the next recruitment scheme of the Nigeria Army before his arrest.
“ On 22nd August, 2016, one Samuel Asuquo, a kidnap kingpin was arrested by the Service at Nasarawa Bakoko village in Cross River State; Asuquo was the mastermind of the kidnap of three Australian staff of Lafarge Cement Company, for which his gang received ransom N150m.
“Similarly, on 30th August, 2016, the trio of Bamaiyi Mustapha (aka Dan Borno), Aminu Isa and Hassan Shehu, members of a notorious kidnap gang operating around the Abuja-Kaduna axis, were arrested at Lafia, Nasarawa State.
“The gang had earlier kidnapped five Igbo women and collected N13m as ransom; they were subsequently arrested by the Service while planning a high profile kidnap in Abuja.
According to the DSS, a sacked embassy driver who was threatening the Ukrainian ambassador, was arrested for posing as the Accountant-General of the Federation. Two others who cloned the telephone number of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, in a bid towards actualising high level fraud.
”This Service has arrested one Abbas Mohammed at Asokoro, Abuja; he was sending several threat messages to the Ukranian Ambassador to Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that Mohammed was formerly employed by the embassy as a driver but he began threatening his former employer after losing his job arising from observed gross acts of insubordination from him to his employers.
“On the economic front, the DSS is currently intensifying action against high level fraudsters whose unwholesome activities is negatively affecting investors’ confidence with multiplier risk to genuine businesses nationwide.
“Accordingly, one Izuagie Mohammed was arrested in Benin City, Edo State on 24th August, 2016, for impersonating the Accountant-General of the Federation. Mohammed had already defrauded unsuspecting members of the public, posing as the Nigerian AGF on Facebook and promising them facilitation of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) empowerment loan before he was apprehended by the Service.
“In a further action, on 28th August, 2016, Taiye Alade and Ajoke Kolawole were also arrested by the Service at Fabian Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
“The duo had cloned the GSM number of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (GMD NNPC), and were using it to defraud his close associates,” the DSS alleged.
Assuring all law abiding citizens and residents that it will not rest on its oars in its determination to ensure a safe environment for all to carry out their legitimate business, the DSS stated that several other criminal suspects are now helping its investigations.
“ In another operation carried out same day at Tamburawa village along Kano-Zaria Expressway, Kano State, Alhassan Musa and Ado Yusuf, members of a notorious kidnap/armed robbery syndicate operating from Falgore forest in Doguwa Local Government Area, Kano State, were also apprehended.
“On 19th August, 2016, two kidnappers operating in Zamfara and its environs were arrested; they are Abdulrasheed Ibrahim and Aliyu Umar; the duo had been terrorising residents of the area along with a kidnap group headed by ‘Buhari General’ who is still at large.
“Also, on 26th August, 2016, two (2) notorious kidnappers, armed robbers and assassins; Moses Achia and Fanen Igbetar, were arrested at Kperlegba Village, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.
“One AK-47 rifle, five fully loaded AK-47 magazines, 150 rounds of live ammunition and one pistol loaded with 15 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from them. The syndicate had planned to kidnap a female business tycoon in Makurdi, Benue State.
“On 3rd September 2016, a kidnapping gang under the coordination of one Sunny Isaac (late), which has been terrorising residents in states of the South-East zone, was busted by the Service at Aba in Abia State; prior to their arrest, the gang had masterminded series of kidnapping incidents in the state, including the abduction of one Uche Ikonne (female), an American citizen in the state.
“Other members of the gang arrested by the Service include Nnaoma Amak, Chiedozie Ebere, Bartholomew Michael, Chinweotito Innocent and Celestine Ikarangwan while the following items were recovered on them during the time of arrest; N400,000.00, a double-barrel gun with two live ammunition, a Toyota-Corolla car, a Volkswagen Golf car, and the mobile cellphone of Ikonne.
“Also, one Mike Ewugbara, a known child trafficker was arrested at Okigwe, Imo State on 26th August, 2016.
“Three kidnapped children were rescued from his hideout, including one Miracle who was abducted in Benue State,” the DSS stated.