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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Wednesday gave an update on the Operation Puff Adder, which is aimed at tackling kidnapping and banditry nationwide, saying the police had arrested 2,175 suspects since April 5.
The IG said police operatives attached to the Operation Puff Adder had also rescued 63 kidnap victims within the period and called for tougher legislation against kidnapping and banditry, including the seizure of assets linked to these crimes.
Adamu stated these while addressing a delegation of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Nasarawa State chapter, who visited him in his official quarters in Abuja.
The delegation, which was led by Alhaji Aminu Maifata, had paid the IG a Sallah visit.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the IG stated that the 2,175 suspects included 852 arrested for kidnapping, 865 for armed robbery, 359 for murder and 99 for cultism.
Mba said, “The IG called for tougher legislation against kidnapping and banditry, including possible state seizure of assets linked to illicit proceeds from kidnapping and other crimes. This, the IGP believes, will act as a strong disincentive to potential kidnappers and other criminals.
“The IG stated that since the launch of Operation Puff Adder on April 5, 63 kidnapped victims had been rescued by the police.
“In a similar vein, 2,175 suspects were arrested. With respect to arms recovery, the IG noted that 834 arms, including two rocket launchers and 19,009 live ammunition, were recovered, with Oyo State recording the highest number of 9,500 live ammunition.
“The IG stated that the police were re-jigging their strategies to ensure proactive interception of illicit weapons destined for our country and at the same time mop up unauthorised weapons from circulation.
“He added that a good number of the cases were already being prosecuted in courts, while many others were still under investigation.”