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Police gun down wanted gang leader, 3 others in Delta

From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

A suspected leader of a dreaded kidnapping syndicate, one Momotimi who has been on the wanted list of the police in Delta State has been killed during an exchange of fire.

Momotimi, who hailed from Warri was neutralised along with three suspected members of his gang, according to the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP Bright Edafe.

Edafe in a statement on Thursday, said Momotimi who led his gang members on a robbery operation at microfinance bank in Udu, was arrested by a combined team of operatives from the state and Rivers State command.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were planning a ferocious mission of armed robbery in Warri before their arrest and among his gang members is a POS operator who also provides the gang with information about potential kidnap victims.

“The items recovered from the suspects are one ash-colored Toyota Camry car (REG NO. LAGOS LND 508 GM), and three MONIEPOINT POS machines,” he stated.

Edafe added that the suspect led operatives to their hideout in Warri, “but on their way, the operatives were ambushed by hoodlums suspected to be members of the gang.

“In a bid to rescue the arrested suspect, engaged them in a fierce gun duel which the police responded. In the ensuing gun duel, the operatives successfully subdued and repelled the attackers.

“Two police officers sustained gunshot injuries. However, the four suspects in a bid to escape ran into the crossfire and sustained serious gunshot injuries.

“They were taken to General Hospital in Kwale where they were certified dead by the doctor on duty. When the area was combed, a corpse suspected to be one of the attackers was recovered.

“Two defaced AK-47 rifles, four magazines, 26 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and 47 empty shells of 7.62mm ammunition were also recovered,” he stated.