Soldiers nab two illegal makers of sub-machine guns, AK-47, pistols

The headquarters of Operation Whirl Stroke, an ongoing special military operation in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, says it has arrested two suspected arms manufacturers in Logo Local Government Area of Benue.

The OPWS commander, Maj-Gen Adeyemi Yekini, who disclosed this while addressing journalists on Monday in Makurdi, said that the two suspects were arrested by the OPWS sector command in Logo, following a tip-off from local informants.

Yekini said that after local sources had revealed to the OPWS headquarters the activities of the manufactures, it took them four weeks of surveillance operations to identify the factories and the suspects.

He said that after processing all the information at its disposal, the information was relayed to its sector command for action.

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According to him, it was the sector command that arrested the suspected arms manufacturers at different sites in Tine Nune village.

Also speaking, the sector commander of the OPWS in the area, Capt. Samuel Okinahi, said it was not an easy task arresting the suspects.

He said that several weapons were recovered from the manufacturing sites, adding that the suspected manufacturers admitted having customers in Benue and Taraba states.

He said that the two suspects were arrested on March 24 by operatives of the Command.

Speaking to newsmen, one of the suspects claimed to have studied Telecommunication Engineering in Mauritania for five years, before returning to Nigeria.

The suspect also claimed to have acquired the skills of arms production while studying abroad, but lamented that all efforts to secure a viable business failed owing to the activities of witches in his community.

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“Upon my return to the country, all my efforts at getting a viable business to do failed owing to my people’s witchcraft.

“Having expended all my resources on other businesses to no avail, I decided to take advantage of the lingering communal crises in my community to venture into arms manufacture to make a living,” he said.

He said that each AK-47 machine gun they manufacture costs between N350,000 and N400,000, while a pistol goes for N150,000.

He said he had been in the business for two years and had acquired numerous customers both in Benue and Taraba states.

Some of the arms that the OPWS said were manufactured by the suspects included sub-machine guns, AK-47, pistols, knives and other assorted local weapons.

(NAN)

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