Eleven persons including a wanted man, Tokiche, a.k.a. “TK’’, were killed at Seme border during gun battle with security agents.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, who made this known on Friday in Ikeja, said the suspects were overpowered by the security agents, including policemen from Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
Owoseni said the 17-man robbery gang was led by TK to attack banks and Bureaux-de-Change at Seme border but the attempt was foiled by security operatives.
According to him, TK had been on the police wanted list for various violent crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, cultism and pipeline vandalism, among others.
The commissioner said TK had over 200 men which he used to carry out crimes, stressing that he also had properties in different places, including Isawo, Ikorodu in Lagos State.
“TK has his signature in various violent crimes in Ogun, Ondo, Edo and the Republic of Benin.
“They also intercepted a vessel in Niger/Delta Area. He shifts his base from one place to another depending on the operation he wants to carry out.
“On March 16, we got a report that TK and his gang were planning to attack banks and bureau-de-change at Seme border area.
“They were said to have come in three boats at about 3 a.m. and immediately started shooting sporadically in commando style,’’ Owoseni said.
“The Police, Customs, Immigration, the Joint Military Task Force and policemen from Republic of Benin who had earlier prepared for them foiled their operation.
“The gang surrendered to the superior gun power of the security agencies and fled.
“The security agents and members of the public pursued them and at the end of the day, 11 of them were killed, while six others escaped. We are on the trail of those at large.’’
He said three boats, with one of them having the inscription: “Castina Marine’’, 22 pieces of dynamite, six AK-47 rifles, two general purpose machine guns and 33,678 life ammunition were recovered.
Other recovered items, he added, were 22 empty magazines, eight life jackets, 350 litres jerry can of fuel, two 100 litres jerry cans of fuel, one military magazine, jackets and assorted pieces of charms.
Owoseni said the bodies had been deposited at the mortuary.
He said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mr Solomon Arase, praised all the security agencies involved in the operation, including those of Republic of Benin, for their cooperation.
He added that the IGP called for more of such partnership in future.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), however, reports that three bodies, including TK’s were paraded before reporters before being taken to the mortuary.