A member of a notorious syndicate that specialises in high profile armed robbery operations, including the killings of policemen and carting away their rifles within Warri metropolis and its environs, has been arrested by the men of the Delta State Police Command.
The 32-year-old suspect identified as Philip Mike Mishan, popularly known as ‘Cele’, was alleged to be the brain behind a series of violent robbery cases in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun from 2010 to date.
Items recovered from the suspect in an operation led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Ekpan Division, Asanaenyi Ibok, to his hideout at Alegbo area in Effurun, were two AK 47 rifles, with 5 rounds of magazines and one 140 rounds of live ammunition.
He was said to have led a series of armed robbery operations including trailing of bank customers to their different locations to dispose of them of their cash and other valuables both in the area.
The gang he belonged had also allegedly been fingered in incidents of killing of policemen in parts of Effurun and Udu areas and their service rifles taken away.
It was gathered that his operational methods changed in the last two years after he escaped arrest from the police who had been on his trail for a while by relocating to Ozoro his hometown in Isoko North Local Government Area from where they moved to Alegbo area for operations.
Efforts to get Ibok to give details of the arrest were turned down, as he directed further inquiries to the Delta State police commissioner.
However, confirming the arrest, the Delta State police commissioner, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, said with this arrest, the command had recorded a major breakthrough in its crime-fighting efforts in the Warri and Effurun areas.
He explained that the police were on the trail of the gang leader who had been identified as Sylvester Usobotie, and other members of the gang currently at large.