NAN – No fewer than 11 suspected armed robbers, including a wanted ring leader, Tokiche, a.k.a. “TK’’, were killed at Seme border after the gang exchange of gunfire with security agents.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, who made the disclosure on Friday in Ikeja, said they were overpowered by the security agents, including policemen from Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
Owoseni said that the 17-man robbery gang was led by TK to attack banks and Bureau-de-Change at Seme border but their robbery attempt was foiled by security operatives.
According to him, TK had been on the wanted list of the Nigeria Police for various violent crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, cultism and pipeline vandalism among others.
The commissioner said that TK had over 200 men which he used in various groups to carry out crimes, stressing that he also had properties at various places, including Isawo, Ikorodu in Lagos State.
“TK has his signature in various violent crimes in Ogun, Ondo, Edo and the Republic of Benin.
“They also intercepted a vessel in Niger/Delta Area. He shifts his base from one place to another depending on the operation he wants to carry out.
“On March 16, we got a report that TK and his gang were planning to attack banks and bureau-de-change at Seme border area.
“They were said to have come in three boats at about 3 a.m. and immediately started shooting sporadically in commando style,’’ Owoseni said.
“The Police, Customs, Immigration, the Joint Military Taskforce and Policemen from Republic of Benin who had earlier prepared for them foiled their operation.
“The gang surrendered to the superior gun power of the security agencies and fled.
“The security agents and members of the public pursued them and at the end of the day, 11 of them were killed, while six others escaped. We are on the trail of those at large.’’
He said that three boats with one of them having the inscription “Castina Marine’’, 22 pieces of dynamite, six AK-47 rifles, two general purpose machine guns and 33,678 life ammunitions were recovered.
Other recovered items, he added, were 22 empty magazines, eight life jackets, 350 litres jerry can of fuel, two 100 litres jerry cans of fuel, one military magazine, jackets and assorted pieces of charms.
Owoseni said that the dead bodies had been deposited at the mortuary.
He said that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, commended all the security agencies that were involved in the operation, including those of Republic of Benin for their cooperation.
He added that the inspector-general called for more of such partnership among them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), however, reports that three corpses of the suspected armed robbers, including TK, were paraded before the newsmen before being taken to the mortuary.