The Police Command in Zamfara, on Sunday, announced that it had successfully arrested 21 suspected notorious bandits and 48 collaborators during various raids it carried out in September.

SP Muhammed Shehu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Gusau, on the achievements of the security agencies in the state.

According to the PPRO, five bandits on the wanted list of the security agencies were also neutralized during the raids.

“Since the implementation of the new security measures of Gov Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, a month ago, the Police and other security agencies had carried out assaults on identified bandits’ locations to rid the state of recalcitrant bandits and other criminal elements.

“As a result of the security agencies’ commitments and sacrifice, tremendous achievements have been recorded, thereby reducing bandits’ attacks, killings and abductions in the last one month.

“The measures led to blocking the recalcitrant bandits from accessing food, fuel and drug supplies, as well as other essential services.

“Similarly, payment of ransom to bandits by the relations of kidnapped victims had stopped due to the effective enforcement of the security measures, by which communication between the bandits and their informants became impossible,” Shehu said.

The PPRO added that as a result, the kidnapped victims had become liabilities for the bandits and were being released unconditionally, following extensive Police search and rescue operations.

“On the effect of the new security measures to communities in the urban areas, the Police Command has succeeded in curtailing the rampant cases of abductions, armed robbery, car snatching, burglary and house breaking and other heinous crimes.

“The ongoing operations by the police and other security agencies in the state has stabilized many villages and communities that were hitherto under threat and apprehension of the bandits.

“Criminal elements, especially bandits, are no longer finding it comfortable to operate; informants to the bandits are not having access to the bandits, who rely so much on their information to commit their dastardly acts against the innocent people of the state.

“The police, through the ongoing operation, have also succeeded in the arrest of 21 notorious armed bandits at various locations in the state, with five of the bandits neutralized during the operations”, Shehu said.

He added: “Police equally repelled four different attacks with many bandits suffering heavy casualties. Many informants to the bandits were arrested, investigated and prosecuted.

“Similarly, over 200 kidnapped victims were rescued at various locations, debriefed and reunited with their families.

“Apart from the achievements of other security agencies in the state, the following arrests and recoveries, mostly from bandits’ collaborators, were made by the Zamfara police command and will be showcased to the press for onward dissemination to members of the public.”

The PPRO added that firearms, including AK47 guns, Dane guns, ammunition, machetes, charms, foodstuff, drugs, fuel, as well as motorcycles and money were recovered from the suspects during the period.

Investigations are presently on to ascertain the level of involvement of each of the suspects, after which they would be arraigned for prosecution in various courts.

Shehu appealed to residents to exercise patience and give the security agencies the needed support to rid the state of all criminal elements and restore law and order.

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