Operatives of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have rescued 28 fishermen kidnapped by a five-man gang in Akwakpa, in the Uruan Local Government Area of the State.

The state Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durosinmi, disclosed this at the command headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, while speaking with journalists in Uyo, the state capital.

The commissioner said the fishermen were rescued through intelligence, adding as soon as he got the report he drafted the marine officers who rescued the victims at the creeks, where they were held hostage for over eight hours.

He explained that the pirates always pose as fishermen to carry out their act on unsuspecting fishermen.

Durosinmi said, “The 28 men and women you see are the people rescued by police marine officers. The victims at about 18: 00hrs yesterday were attacked on the sea by a five man gang of pirates. They seized their boat and put them where they would not come out.

“These men of the underworld will pretend to be fishermen and we’ve actually caught five of them before and they are in detention. The long arm of the law will soon catch up with them. The five armed gang pretending to be fishermen bumped into them and asked them to get into the boat. Fortunately, one of them had the phone number of the local government chairman who later alerted me. The usual practice is that they go out on Thursday and return on a Sunday.

 “They were there all through the night searching where they were and by 10:00hrs my officers found them around a creek with their boats. The detachment of the marine officers is still trailing the suspects.”

Durosinmi added that the command would take the victims to the police clinic for proper medical attention and thereafter reunite them with their families.

He promised to continue to ensure that the state’s land and water remain safe for the people.

He said, “I have taken care of them and I will take them to a police clinic and they will be released to members of their family soon. I want to assure the public that I will do all within my powers to ensure that Akwa Ibom is safe both land and sea.”

One of the victims, Iboro Asuquo, who spoke   to journalists, said, ‘the thieves collected everything from us, they collected millions of naira from different people.’

Also, one Victoria Pious from Uruan, narrated, “I go there to buy fish. They collected about N1m from me, which was part of a loan I took and repaying N100, 000 monthly.  They carried us to a place we didn’t know; they covered our faces, stripped me to ensure I didn’t hide the money in my private parts.

“They shot in the air several times and beat us mercilessly before collecting our belongings. They also took our three boat engines. Thank God that the police came to rescue us.”

By Chris

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