By Zubairu Idris
Faskari (Katsina State) – Troops of the “Operation Sahel Sanity” said they had arrested three Nigerien illegal arms dealers supplying arms to bandits in the Northwestern parts of the country.
Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, made the disclosure during a news briefing at Special Army Super Camp, Faskari, Katsina State, on Monday.
Onyeuko gave the names of the suspects as Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani.
He said that the troops arrested the Nigeriens at Dantudu, Malailai district of Sabon-Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“On Aug. 15, 2020, Operation Sahel Sanity troops deployed to Forward Operation Base, after a painstaking undercover operation, successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate.
“They specialised in massive arms supply to bandits in the North-West zone from across international borders,” he said.
The acting director disclosed that items recovered from the hoodlums included six AK 47 rifles, three AK 47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition that were concealed in various parts of their vehicle.
He said that preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignments were meant for some bandits in Issa Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
He added that one of the arrested suspects, Alhassan, a diabetic and hypertensive patient, however died in the hospital where he was rushed for treatment .
Onyeuko said that investigation was ongoing to arrest all those involved in the chain of heinous activities in collaboration with intelligence and security agencies from the neighboring countries.
In another development, the acting director said that the troops, in a clearance operations, destroyed 12 bandits’ camps at Yobebaranda in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
He said that the troops neutralised three bandits’ camps, while several other bandits escaped with gunshot wounds.
He further said that the troops arrested five bandits’ informants at Danjibga, two at Anka, one each at Maru, Wanke, Magami, all in Zamfara on Aug. 12.
Onyeuko said that the arrested suspects were being interrogated by the troops before being handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authority.
He urged the people in the zone to continue to provide intelligence to the troops.