A senior police officer and a bank official have been arrested just as they were putting finishing touches to robbing the bank.
Punch reports that a staff of the bank, Samuel Ndudiri, was also arrested alongside other gang members in the foiled bank robbery.
According to a statement by the State Police Command, Sergeant Ukwoma and Nduriri were arrested after a discreet investigation by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team with assistance from the Technical Intelligence Unit of the Nigeria Police.
The statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Nnamdi Omoni, the duo, alongside one other suspect. were arrested at about 11.35 am on Friday, December 23, 2016, in what would have been the biggest robbery operation in the history of the state.
The three suspects with others on the run, according to the report, had brought a filled gas cylinder to the Access Bank premises in Rumuolumeni and had engaged in cutting the main door into the bank when security operatives stormed the place.
However, some members of the gang, including a police corporal identified as Gabriel Igwe, attached to the 19 Police Mobile Force, are currently on the run with two AK 47 rifles belonging to the serving police personnel, were recovered during the operation.
Ndudiri, the Access Bank employee, was said to have masterminded the foiled robbery of the bank with the assistance of the police sergeant, who is from the Department of Operations, Port Harcourt.
Part of the police statement read:
“Arrest of a serving Police Sergeant and bank staff involved in bank robbery and recovery of two AK47 rifles belonging to serving personnel on 23/12/2016 at about 1135hrs.
Sequel to the arrest and handing over of three suspects involved in Access Bank, Eagle Cement, Rumuelumeni branch robbery to Intelligence Response Team by CP, Rivers State, for discreet investigation, IRT Operatives immediately commenced investigation and with technical assistance from TIU (Technical Intelligence Unit), two key members of the gang were arrested.
Sergeant Promise Ukwuoma of DOPS Port Harcourt and Mr. Samuel Ndudiri ‘m’, 38 years, a staff of Access Bank, Eagle Cement (Rumuolumeni) branch, who brought the job and masterminded the robbery, were both arrested in Port Harcourt.
Exhibit recovered are Two AK47 Riffles with breach Nos. 523513 / 21173 and two AK47 rifle magazines fully loaded. One Cpl. Igwe Gabriel of 19PMF attached to RRT DOPS, now at large, is the owner of the second rifle with S/No. 21173,” the statement read.
The arrested suspects were said to have confessed to the crime, even as the police maintained that efforts were in top gear to ensure the arrest of the fleeing members of the gang.