Police Foil N7.2bn Gas Turbine Heist, Seize Five Trucks

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The police in Bayelsa State have halted an attempt by a gang of pirates to steal a Russian gas turbine worth N7.2billion around Etelebou, Gbarain community, Yenagoa Local Government Area.

It was learnt that if the suspects, now in police custody, had succeeded in moving the equipment, a combustion engine that can convert natural gas or other liquid fuels to mechanical energy and then to electricity, it would have further worsened the power challenges currently being faced by Nigerians.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Asuquo Amba, did not elaborate, but he told journalists in Yenagoa yesterday that seven suspects had been arrested and five trucks recovered from the scene of the crime.

The new CP who said his officers intercepted the gang during the operation, noted that rescue operations were also conducted to free some victims of kidnapping in the state.

‘’On January 29, 2017 at about 1,400 hours, through information, the police intercepted a Russian gas turbine at Etelebou, Gharain and prevented the removal of the said turbine valued at about N7.2billion. Seven suspects were arrested and five trucks recovered. Investigation is ongoing,’’ he said.

Some suspected kidnappers that killed an army personnel and a civilian along the Angiama river between Bayelsa and Delta States in July 2016, he said, have also been apprehended by the police.

‘’On July 5, 2016, one Captain Buruma, male, who was in charge of a vessel, Yade One, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen along Angiama river, between Bayelsa and Delta States, during which an army personnel and a civilian were killed.

‘’The victim was held hostage for about 63 days together with two others: one Sunny Andy and Bernard Narebo, along Azuzuama area of Bayelsa State before he was released by his captors.

‘’One of the kidnappers, Shola Job, male, 24 years from Azuzuama community, was sighted at Okutukuku in Yenagoa on February 1, 2017 at about 2p.m. in Yenagoa by one of the victims who raised the alarm and he (Job) was arrested.’’
He added that on January 29, 2017, the command control room received a distress call from one Toju Adama from Ogborikoko, Warri, Delta State that his Hilux van was stolen and was tracked to Agudama Ekpetiama in Bayelsa State.
He said operatives from the state command swung into action and arrested the occupants of the Hilux, one John Ogah, male, a dismissed soldier, from Cross river State, while his accomplice, one Shedrack escaped.

One Bibowei Kelvin, male, from Amassoma town, a student of the Niger Delta University, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Amba noted, was also arrested during a cult clash with a rival gang.

Meanwhile, Mr. Loveday Lucky, the 48-year old businessman who was kidnapped in Sagana , Brass Local Government area of Bayelsa State has been freed by his abductors.

Lucky was forcibly taken away on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at about 10:45p.m. by unknown gunmen and was released around Azuzuama axis of Southern Ijaw, monday.

However, the businessman who sustained machete cuts on his back ,was said to have been received and taken into custody by the Chairman of Brass Local Government Council, Mr. Bello Bina.

Bina, who confirmed the development, warned youths in the area to shun kidnapping, adding that any culprit caught will face the full wrath of the law.

“Brass LGA is not a safe haven for kidnappers or any criminally-minded youth. And I can assure you that security agents are on red alert,” he added
He blamed youths from neighbouring councils of coming to perpetrate crime, thereby painting Brass local council in bad light.

“We are aware that most of the abductors and sea pirates that have been disturbing the area are youths from other LGAs that come to carry out the dastardly acts in order to give Brass a bad name.
“We will not rest until the criminals that kidnapped Loveday and any other persons in Brass are brought to book,” he said.