Police uncover gang targeting, killing Uber drivers

The Rivers State Police Command has arrested some members of a criminal gang suspected to be murdering car-hire drivers and stealing their vehicles, while this state followed the disappearance one of the Uber drivers identified as Oghenevwarhe Barry Akpobome

Penpushing reports that the Command Public Relations Officer Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed this in a statement and equally linked the criminal gang to multiple cases of missing drivers, adding that the arrest of one gang member, Anthony Chima, exposed the sinister activities of the gang in the state.

“The discovery of this criminal enterprise targeting Uber drivers in the state followed the disappearance of one Oghenevwarhe Barry Akpobome, an Uber driver. Upon investigating the disappearance, police operatives arrested one Anthony Chima, a 35-year-old graduate of Political Science from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt. Under interrogation, Chima confessed to being recruited into a gang that specialised in luring taxi drivers into ambushes and stealing their vehicles,” she stated.

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Penpushing further reports that Iringe-Koko stated that Chima’s testimony showed the gang’s involvement in gruesome actions of killing the drivers and harvesting their body parts for ritualistic purposes.

‘The suspect said that he was introduced into the gang by his friend, Amfoh Abu, the group’s arms dealer, and another individual simply identified as ‘Reason. Investigation further revealed that ‘General Effizy,’ the gang’s leader, is a prominent figure in the Greenland cult and a seasoned kidnapper in the state,” she added.

Penpushing also reports that the command imagemaker said Chima confessed that he randomly obtained the Uber drivers’ phone numbers and pretended to be a passenger in need of a ride, recalling that on January 10, 2024 Chima contacted Akpobome and directed the driver to pick him up at Reason’s residence.

‘Disguised as a passenger, Chima lured the unsuspecting Uber driver to a remote area in Aminigboko, where he met Reason and General Effizy along with four-armed gang members. The driver was forcefully removed from the vehicle and taken to Effizy’s shrine, where he was tied up, gagged and gruesomely murdered. Chima later led the police to the shrine and Effizy’s residence, where personnel recovered the victim’s skull and a locally fabricated Baretta pistol,” she said.

Penpushing reports that Iringe-Koko explained that a manhunt had been launched to capture the fleeing gang members, assuring that Chima would face legal action, and added that the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Tunji Disu, has advised Uber drivers to be cautious while picking up or transporting passengers, particularly to remote or potentially dangerous areas.

‘The Akpobome incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk in the shadows, and the importance of vigilance and cooperation with the law enforcement agencies,” the police image maker said.

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