Military arrests foreign arms suppliers to bandits
By UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
The High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), on Thursday, said that it has burst an international arms smuggling syndicate and arrested some foreigners that supply arms to bandits in the North-West part of the country.
The High Command said that the arrests and seizures of a large cache of arms from the syndicate, were made possible by the undercover operations it deployed in the zone.
Major General John Enenche, Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, (CDMO), at a press briefing in Abuja, said the success confirmed that there were heavy foreign backings of the attacks and killings presently perpetrated by bandits in the North West and elsewhere in the country.
General Enenche disclosed that the foreign gunrunners were Nigeriens, whose stock in trade was transborder smuggling of illegal arms into the country.
The Defence operations spokesman said, “troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Forward Operating Base Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State on 15 August 2020 after an undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialize in massive arms supply to bandits in the North West from across the international borders.
“The three suspects all Nigerien citizens were intercepted at Dantudu in Mailailai District of Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State with 6 AK 47 Rifles, 3 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicle.
“It therefore goes to show that some of the security challenges in the country have external influence. The suspects are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation before being handed over to the prosecuting agency.
“These successes recorded within the period are evident of the troop’s determination, resilience and commitment to end the security challenges bedeviling the North West zone.”
General Enenche stressed that farming, social and economic activities were once again flourishing in the North West zone, saying, “Interestingly, a total of 14 bandits were killed from this zone of the country for the period reviewed.”
The CDMO, also briefed journalists on the continuation of intensive clearance operation in the North-West zone of the country, which he said troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to record tremendous successes against the bandits.
Within the period under review, he said, in a combined special clearance operation, troops of operation SAHEL SANITY destroyed 12 bandit camps at Yobe Baranda in Batsari LGA of Katsina State. (Daily Independent)