The Cross River State Police Command on Friday paraded a gun running syndicate including a gunsmith who specialises in making automatic weapons for commercial distribution with network in Cameroon and other parts in the gulf of Guinea.
It was learned that the syndicate sell guns to hunters, mercenaries and others for sundry crimes.
Addressing journalists at the State Headquarters of the Command, Diamond Hill, Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Abdulkadir said it was evident that due to the dynamic modern society has made a lot of citizens participation in crime fighting inevitable.
His words: “I want to thank the good people of Cross River, the media and other stakeholders for their uncommon and unflinching support and their resolve to readily collaborate with the police in tackling security challenges in the state.
“It is evident that the dynamics of modern society has made citizens-participation in crime fighting inevitable.
“The following are evident of the success so far recorded by the Command within the period under review , 18 suspects were arrested for various crimes including gun running syndicate , a local gunsmith who specializes in manufacturing locally made automatic weapons including revolvers.
“We also recovered a G3 rifle, three live 7.63 mm amunition, 1,402 rounds of live cartridges amongst others. At this point I want to reassure members of the public again and unsuspecting persons to continue their good work in tackling crime through information dissemination.
“We also want the people living in Cross River to know that we have completely carried out the Inspector General of Police as it concerns FSARS, SARS and others. Any officer seen or caught will be thoroughly dealt with,” he said.
When newsmen spoke with the gun running syndicate leader/gunsmith, Nicholas Egbo and Akwa Joseph respectively they admitted that they knew that their trade was illegal and only did out to survive.
According to Akwa Joseph: “I only sell gun to hunters but I know it is illegal because I am not licensed to do so, I am only selling bullet (cartridges) to my fellow hunters but sincerely I know what I am doing is illegal.”
On his part, Nicholas Egbo said he meets his client at a market in Obudu adding that he has client from Cameroon and other places that patronise him and he learned the gunsmithing skill as far back as 1992.
“I started manufacturing locally made automatic weapons as far back as 1992 ,and I have made over different 100 guns both in size and shape .I sell to people from Cameroon and other bordering States,” he said.