A JOINT team of security and vigilante operatives on Saturday rescued 13 travellers kidnapped in Ahor around the Benin bypass.
The security team included men and officers of the Edo State Police Command, local hunters and members of the Edo State Vigilante Security Network.
It was gathered that the travellers were on their way to Akwa-Ibom State from Lagos and others to Anambra.
In the course of the rescue, the police said seven camps of kidnappers have also been discovered in the forest in the axis from which they operated from.
The Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, claimed the command deployed drones to the area and they were assisted by hunters and members of the Vigilante Security Network set up by the state government.
He said: “We used information provided to track the kidnappers. We took the courage to enter the forest. This is how we would proceed with the operations going forward.
“We are going to carry out general combing of the area so that we can identify their camps. So far, we have identified up to seven camps and we will make these camps visiting points so that they will not be able to come back.”
Ogbadu urged residents in communities along Ahor-Auchi Road to provide relevant information about the activities of kidnappers to the authorities, noting, “We are going to seek more information from these communities as these kidnappers come to the road to buy food and they interact with the people.”
He said the command would carry out regular patrols and mount checkpoints along the road, adding that the rescued victims were taken to Magnus Eweka Police Cottage Hospital for thorough medical examinations before they would be handed over to the state government to assist them to proceed to their destinations.
Coordinator of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network, Yusuf Haruna, said the success of the operation was a testament to what the Edo State Government was doing with the new security architecture in identifying and understanding behaviours of crime and criminality in the state.
“Crime is local, so we localised our architecture. We have chased the criminal elements away from the city to the suburbs and we are taking the war to them in the suburbs as well,” he added.
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