Operatives of the Akwa Ibom State Police command had on Friday rescued 28 passengers comprising traders and fishermen who were kidnapped by sea pirates on their way to Bakassi through Uruan water channel, Uruan Local Goverment Area of the state.
The state Commissioner of police, Olatoye Durosinmi disclosed this at the command headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia while interacting with journalists in Uyo, the state capital.
The Commissioner disclosed that he acted immediately the local government Chairman of Uruan, Iniobong Ekpenyong sent a distress call across informing him of the incident.
According to the statement, “Thursday July the 14th, at about 10:00pm, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command received a distress call from the Chairman of Uruan Local Government Area, Hon. Iniobong Ekpeyong that a Market boat conveying fish Traders from Ishiet Market in Adiadia Community had been attacked and occupants kidnapped by Sea Pirates along the Uruan Water Channel.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Olatoye Durosinmi mobilised Tactical Teams and the Command’s Marine Police to go after the hoodlums.
“At about 1:30pm today, July the 15th, the Akwa Ibom State Marine Police, who had been trailing the hoodlums, closed in on them after an aggressive search, causing the evil Men to abandoned their victims at the creeks after robbing them of various sums of money, macheted two and burnt one of their engine boats. Victims were successfully rescued and brought to the Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters and those in need of medical attention were taken to the police Clinic for treatment.”
He explained that the pirates always pose as fishermen to carry out their nefarious act on unsuspecting passengers.
The Commissioner while promising to make both Akwa Ibom land and waterways safe urged the people to always alert the police when they are or the neighbors are in danger.
One of the victims Iboro Asuquo, who spoke to journalists said, “the thieves collected everything from us, they collected millions of Naira from different people.”
Also, one Victoria Pious from Uruan narrated: “I go there to buy fish. They collected about N1million from me, which was part of a loan I collected which I pay back N100,000 monthly including money people gave me to buy things for them.
“They carried us to a place we didn’t know, they covered our faces, striped me to ensure I didn’t hide the money in my privates.
“They shot in the air severally, beat us mercilessly before collecting our things. They also carried our three boat engines, set one ablaze. Thank God that police came this morning and rescued us.”