FCT Police Arrest Arms Dealers in Abuja

The FCT Police Command said on Friday that its men arrested three suspected illegal armed dealers.
The command named the suspects as Philip John, Onyegabueze Okpara and Joseph Bulus.
They are said to specialized in manufacturing, supplying and distribution of locally made firearms.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the FCT Commissioner of Police Sadiq Bello, said the suspects were arrested in Zuba area of Abuja.
The kingpin, John, said he started the business immediately after his primary school education because of hardship.
Items recovered from them included one locally fabricated double barrel firearm, two live 12 calibre cartridges, two single barrel firearm frame, two Dane gun frame, 58 empty cartridges shells, 338 live 12 calibre cartridges, and locally fabricated revolver pistol cylinder.
Other items recovered from include four dane guns, one double barrel firearm, two calibre live cartridges, empty caliber cartridge shell, six dane gun muzzle, six single barrel firearm frame, two dane gun hammer, five gun muzzle spring, manual motor drill, one dice for retread and various implement used for manufacturing locally made weapons.
Bello said: “Following intelligence and discreet police investigation, operatives of the command uncovered an illegal firearm fabricating factory located around Shenagu village near Zuba.
“During a raid on the factory, three suspects were arrested and during interrogation, Philip John stated that he has been doing the illicit business for 17 years.
“He also confessed that he sells fabricated single-barrel guns to his clients at N20,000 while dane gun went for N10,000.”
“John also said he serviced and repaired malfunctioning guns brought to him by his clients whom he claimed were vigilantes and hunters.
The Police Commissioner added: “The supplier of the ammunition who disguised as a bicycle spare-parts dealer was arrested at Kwaita market in possession of some of the exhibits which he carefully concealed and sold to criminals.
“In his statement, he narrated that he started the illicit deal since 1997 and that he sold a pack containing 25 pieces of live cartridges for N12,000, while single cartridge was released for N500. He further confessed that got his supply from Onitsha.”
The police also said the third suspect, Bulus was the major link between John and potential buyers of the firearms.
On how he began the trade, John said: “I am from Kaduna State. I started hunting when I was in primary school. I used firearm to hunt. In the process of hunting, I started learning how to repair the gun I used. From repair of my gun, I mastered how it was done.
“I decided to go into the fabrication of arms as a full time business because hunting was no longer lucrative and I was looking for something that would sustain me.
“I don’t have licence to manufacture and I know what I do is illegal but I made effort to get licence but my efforts proved abortive and that is why I resolved to this.”
Also speaking, the Okpara who disguised as bicycle spare-parts seller said: “I have been in this business for about 20 years now. I know that what I deal in is contraband but what choice do I have? I sell to vigilantes and hunters.
The Police Commissioner said: “We are not going to sleep, we are going to keep vigil to ensure that we safeguard the lives and property of FCT residents.”
He also said the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigation.

Author: News Editor

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