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Bandits overpower policemen, rob bullion van

OVER 20 suspected robbers laid ambush and overwhelmed policemen escorting a bullion van with undisclosed amount of money belonging to two new generation banks, along the Benin‑Asaba Expressway, by Edo/Ogwashi-Uku junction in Delta State, Wednesday.

Police spokesperson in Delta State, DSP Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the robbery in a statement, Thursday, said the bandits made away with some money.

She said the bandits opened fire on the bullion van and two police escort vehicles, while a policeman attached to the Counter-Terrorism Unit, CTU, was seriously injured in the ensuing gun battle.

Her words: “On 24/06/2014 at about 1330hrs, heavily armed suspected hoodlums numbering over 20, laid ambush and opened fire on a bullion bars van in the course of cash transit being made on behalf of one of the new generation banks.

“Two escort vehicles attached to the bullion van were riddled with bullets while the suspected hoodlums made away with undisclosed amounts of money to an unknown destination, along Benin/Asaba expressway by Edo/Ogwashi‑Uku.

“On receiving the distress call thereto, patrol duty personnel were immediately mobilised to the scene and they successfully rescued the bank escort team, who squarely engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun battle but were unfortunately overwhelmed by the hoodlum’s superior fire power and their staggering numbers.

“A team of Base 5 Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) personnel returning from Ekiti State on special duty and whose vehicle arrived the scene in the course of the gun battle also aided the bank escort team to engage the hoodlums.

“One of the CTU personnel was fatally wounded by gunshot while others with serious bullet wounds were rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.

“Items recovered at the scene are one empty bullion van with registration number, PF 3183SPY; two Hilux pick-up vans with registration numbers, FR 98 LSR and PF 1628 SPY; 343 expanded AK-47 ammunition and two magazines with 60 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition.

“Investigation into the matter has been stepped up while the possibility of insider action is also being looked into.”

It was gathered that a Toyota Highlander SUV and a Camry saloon car used by the hoodlums were abandoned and recovered at Idumuje-Ugboko village.

The police spokesman disclosed that “information at our disposal goes to the effect that the hoodlums snatched a Sienna Space bus with number plate, JJJ 16 XJ, as a getaway car.”

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