The suspected criminals were apprehended across the state for armed robbery, unlawful use of siren and plate number, illicit ownership of guns, impersonation of military officers and carjacking.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ari Mohammed Ali, who paraded the suspects in Asaba on Wednesday, said 20 of the suspected cult members were arrested by policemen who ransacked flashpoints in Agbor and Sapele towns.

He explained that the raid was executed by operatives of the Anti-Cult unit, after receiving alarming cases of attacks by suspected cult members in Sapele and Agbor.

The police chief in the state also lamented that the two towns, especially Sapele, had recently witnessed an increase in cases of cult-related deaths.

 He said two locally made guns, two Dane guns, one dagger and a laptop were recovered from the suspects. 

He added that the suspects who had already confessed to being members of 'Aro Bagger' and 'Ayes' confraternities, were being interrogated.  

Ali also paraded 11 other suspects who were arrested across the state for offences similar to the ones allegedly committed by the 20 suspects. 

While speaking on a suspected kidnapper who turned himself in at Obiaruku community, Ukwuani Local Government Area, Ali said a total of five suspects had been arrested in connection with the matter, saying the matter was still being investigated.

He, however, applauded the people of Obiaruku for ensuring that the suspects were arrested in their den in the bush following the confession of the suspect who earlier turned himself in, noting that the people of the community showed uncommon bravery.

“The kidnappers and criminal elements among the herdsmen carry out their kidnapping in collaboration with locals. “The five suspects are natives of Obiaruku. They collaborate with criminal elements among the herdsmen to kidnap people and collect ransom.

“And whatever proceeds they realise from every operation, they usually share it with their local collaborators who sell out their brothers and sisters and make them soft targets for kidnapping,” Ali said.

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