FCT police uncover illegal firearms factory, arrest three suspects
The Commissioner of Police FCT Command, Sadiq Bello, said the command has uncovered an illegal firearms factory in Shenagu village near Zuba, a suburb of the FCT and arrested three suspects in connection to the crime.
The suspects include the owner of the factory, Philip John, the supplier of ammunitions, Onyegabueze Okpara and the distributor of the arms, one Joseph Bulus.
Bello, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, while briefing journalists, said items recovered from them include a locally fabricated revolver pistol cylinder, four Dane guns, 1 double Barrel Firearm, 1 single Barrel fire arm, 2 Caliber live Cartridge and Empty Caliber Cartridge shell.
Others include 6 Dane gun Muzzles, 4 single Barrel Muzzles, 6 single barrel firearm frame, 2 Dane gun Hammer, 5 Gun Muzzle spring, 1 manual motor drill, 1 dice for retread and various implements used for manufacture of locally-made weapons.
He said that during interrogation, John stated that he has been doing the illicit business for 17 years and confessed that he sells fabricated single-barrel guns to his clients for N20, 000 each, while Dane gun is sold for N10,000, noting that he also services and repairs malfunctioning guns brought to him by his clients.
The FCT Commissioner said Okpara, who disguises as a bicycle spare-parts dealer, was arrested at Kwaita market in possession of the exhibits, which he concealed and sold to criminals.
He said Okpara in his statement revealed that “he started the illicit deal since 1997 and that he sells a pack containing 25 pieces of live cartridge for N12, 000 while single cartridge goes for N500.”
Bello added that Bulus, the major link who connects the principal suspect with potential buyers of the fabricated firearms, was arrested at Zuba, noting that the suspects would be charged to court on conclusion of investigation.
In a related development, the commissioner also said the Command arrested five armed robbery suspects at Apo Roundabout and Kabusa areas of the FCT.
The suspects include: Hashiru Isiaka, Umar Adamu, Tukur Bala, Bashiru Mohammed and Benjamin Jatau.
He said items recovered from them include one revolver pistol with two rounds of live ammunition, one revolver pistol and one locally made pistol, a Nokia cell phone, Indian hemp, charms and screw driver.
“The exhibits were discovered by the police operatives during a search conducted on the bag the suspect was carrying while on transit from Jabi to Kabusa in a tricycle.
“In his statement, the suspect who is also an ex-convict, confessed that the guns which he bought at N50,000 were to be used for a major robbery operation around Kabusa and environs,” Bello said.