By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
A local AK-47 fabrication factory has been uncovered by the police high command in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State, it was learnt on Wednesday.
The Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba in Abuja paraded two middle aged men Joe Michael and Iliya Bulus arrested for the alleged fabrication of weapons alongside other 79 suspects.
The suspects according to Mba, were arrested by the operatives of the two major Units of operational and investigative team of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and Special Tactical Squad (STS) of the Force across the country for various offences ranging from kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, culpable homicide, gun running to illegal production and distribution of fake number plates.
Addressing reporters while parading the suspects, Mba expressed sadness that the locally fabricated guns are fast becoming the weapons of choice for criminals terrorizing the country and it portends a great danger to the security of the nation if not immediately curbed.
Mba lamented that the locally fabricated Ak-47 was a masterpiece which would require extra knowledge of an expert to differentiate from the ones made from Europe.
He disclosed that during the raid on the illegal factory 20 pieces of locally Ak-47 rifles were recovered by the operatives who had been on the trail of the suspects for a long time.
His words: If you look at these weapons locally fabricated by the suspects, there is no difference from others being imported into the country, unless you are trained you will not be able to spot the difference, they use the same magazines.
“We will follow up to track down those behind this, we will continue to deepen our intelligence, and we continue to work with other sister security agencies to check the proliferation of illegal arms in the country.
The fabricator, Joe Michael, who said he attended a Technical College in Jos, told reporters that he had so far fabricated about 180 Units in the last three year which he sold at N80, 000 per unit.
The suspect also claimed that he acquired the skill from his late boss simply known as James.
In a related development, Mba also paraded a three man gang over the alleged mass production and distribution of specialized fake number Plates comprising the Presidency, Diplomatic and others.
He explained that the suspects were apprehended in Ikorodu area of Lagos State by crack detectives of the Special Tactical Squad STS.
Mba said at the point of the arrest, 80 units of such fake number plates ready for collection were recovered from the suspects.
He disclosed that Investigations had shown that the syndicate were being patronized by people of shady characters in the society.
According to him: “These shady characters will get those specialized number Plates and fixed on their vehicles to beat security checks and to also enjoy unmerited privileges in the society.”
Mba however said that the police was already in possession of the full list of those with such fake number plates, saying that the culprits would be apprehended and be prosecuted no matter their connection in the society.
Also, a four man gang of kidnappers who reportedly kidnapped a University Lecturer, Professor Aliyu Mohammed in Zaria, Kaduna State were paraded.
Mba said the suspects were arrested at a point of kidnapping of a Catholic Priest in Kaduna State recently.
In addition, the Police paraded an undergraduate student of the University of Jos Plateau State for masterminding the killing of his friend who loaned a Sim of N500, 000 to organize his wedding ceremony.
Also paraded was a trans border gun runner popularly known as ‘Baba Busy’ who was arrested between Benin Republic and Nigeria border with a GPMG Chain drive gun with 1,600 live ammunition.
The Mba assured that though the Nation’s Security was being challenged, the situation would bring out the best in the security forces of the country.