Members of a three-man gang in Aba, Abia State have been arrested by the Ngwa High School Forward Operation Base (FOB) under144 Battalion, Asa.
The suspects, who are specialized in swindling innocent visitors and residents of Aba, operated between Osisioma to Ariaria junction as sources disclosed that their targets were traders and individuals going to Ariaria International market Aba to shop, visitors who prefer boarding cab along the Aba – Port Harcourt Express than using the park.
It was also learnt that many traders who are always in a hurry to be in Ariaria have fallen victim and left heartbroken after they must have been swindled by this gang.
The gang members identified Udo Mba (aka Chief Udo Mba of Amavo-Ukwu), an indigene and traditional title holder in Amavo-Ukwu, Osisioma Local Government Area, Ifeanyi Enwereji of Obuda, Aba South Local Government and Philip Nwulu of Rivers State were allegedly apprehended when one of the female victims they swindled last month identified them and raised the alarm that alerted the people nearby who swiftly went after them.
The Nation learnt that the gang who were already waiting for their would be prey on sighting the girl drove off, but luck was said to have been against them when their Blue Coloured 504 Peugeot car with registration number Oyo State AA 851 EGB entered into a ditch on the expressway.
Sources said that by the time they could open their car to run away, the surging crowd caught up with them and were about lynching them when some soldiers came and prevailed on them.
They (gang members) were said to have been taken to the Ngwa High School FOB by the soldiers where they were being kept, though a source at the army base said that they would be handing them over to the police for further investigation.
The victim who simply gave her name as Miss Chidinma, a cosmetic dealer at the Umuahia main market narrating her ordeal to reporters said “It was about last month when I came to Aba to buy what I will sell in my shop from Ariaria International market. When our bus stopped at Osisioma junction, I entered their car because I was in a hurry and wanted to do my shopping fast so that I can go back to Umuahia early enough.
“I was inside the car when the driver drove off with a male passenger and later picked another woman on the road. I didn’t suspect anything. We got to a point where the woman brought out dollars.
“At a point I didn’t know what I was doing but I remembered that they said that I should give them money to buy chemical which they will use to produce more money. I declined but later told them that I have N15, 000 with me… After signing what an agreement that they will pay me back the money, the two male members left and the woman later left leaving me alone in a particular place that I can’t remember.
“I left without buying what I came to buy. And today when I came down from the bus that brought me to Aba at Osisioma junction, I saw them (gang) at the same place where I entered their car on that fateful day and immediately they saw me, they drove off but I started shouting and people who were around there went after them”.
A source at the area who commended the quick response of the Ngwa High School FOB however disclosed that the gang was already beaten to pulp by the angry mob who had gathered materials to execute jungle justice (setting them ablaze).
The suspects confessed to the alleged crime and promised to turn a new leaf if they were granted pardon.