A car snatcher who was among nine suspected armed robbers and kidnappers arrested by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Rivers State, has confessed to robbing people of their vehicles at gunpoint.
The car snatcher identified as Uche Ani, from Amuzu in Enugu State, told newsmen that he was a member of a non-governmental organisation, before living became very difficult for him. According to him, hardship forced him into robbing people of their vehicles.
The Rivers State Police Command recovered 12 snatched vehicles, all Toyota brands from Ani and arrested him alongside an ex-convict Andrew Atuse, who is his suspected accomplice. The suspect who further disclosed that was studying Accounting on a part-time basis in one of the tertiary institutions in Port Harcourt, said he was able to rob people of their vehicles and sell them immediately through a friend of his, Atuse, identified as a fake soldier; also arrested by FSARS.
Ani who has been snatching cars for over a year, told newsmen that the proceeds were used to solve some of his financial problems.
“I went into car robbery because of hardship and the devil pushed me into it. When we snatch the vehicles, we give it to him (pointing at the fake soldier) because he always posed as a soldier.
“We snatched majority of the cars in Port Harcourt. We snatched some of the vehicles at gunpoint while others were taken away where they were parked with master keys.
“The military man (fake soldier) carries the cars. It is the Army man that brought us into this business. Like I said, when we collect the cars, we give it to him (pointing at the fake soldier). I am an undergraduate,” the car snatcher said.
Atuse who also spoke to a Punch correspondent, said that the identification card and the Army cap he used were given to him by a soldier, and he was able to use his fake identity as a soldier to sell the cars.
“The first car they snatched after I was introduced to them (the gang); I bought the vehicle from them and resold it. One soldier assisted me by doing the Army ID card for me.
“He (soldier) also gave me a military cap. The last time I saw him was over a year ago. I don’t know how they got their guns. I have stolen eight vehicles on my own,” Atuse, who is from Edo State, added.
Mr Zaki Ahmed, the Rivers State Police Commissioner, explained that apart from the stolen vehicles recovered from Ani and Atuse in the Location area of Port Harcourt, the FSARS operatives also recovered one locally-made pistol, two cartridges.