The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olayinka Balogun, at a press conference in Benin, said the police had been on the trail of the gang in the last one week, after one of its arrested members divulged information to the police.
One of the suspects, Kelly Eyawe, claimed he was lured into criminal activities by a friend, saying he regretted departing from the path his father laid for him.
Others arrested with Eyawe are Osaze Idahosa, Thompson Bamidele and Destiny Emma.
Eyawe advised youths to do something meaningful with their lives and avoid joining bad gangs.
Although he denied being the leader of the gang, he admitted that he took part in three robberies.
Eyawe said, “A friend led me to this problem. My father tried for me and gave me a job. I cannot blame my father. I have robbed up to three times. I now use this opportunity to advise my friends, both here and those not here that robbery is not good. They should struggle for themselves. I cannot blame my father.”
Balogun said the information gathered from members of the public also assisted the police to “capture” the suspects in the early hours of Tuesday.
Balogun, who said the gang had terrorised residents of Airport and Sapele roads and other parts of Benin, added that policemen were on the trail of two other suspects identified simply as “director and Sakpoke.”
The police commissioner said the gang members had on the day of their arrest robbed a bank official, Mudiaka Ojeifo, of his Passat car and other valuables, after which they made for a hotel on Airport Road and attacked riot policemen on official assignment at the hotel.
He said, “For the five days they were on police watch. One of them was in our cell and through him we got others. The one we had had consistently said he will assist us in apprehending his other gang members.
“We laid ambush for them, but unknown to us, they were already in town robbing people and dispossessing them of their valuables. They moved to a hotel where they got information that policemen were and forced the receptionist to take them up to their rooms, but as God would have it, the policemen had gone out to eat and they took their uniforms. They took magazines too.
“Around 12 midnight, we encountered them and gun fire ensued, when they were later captured. You can see what our men went through. This is another success in our resolve to ensure that armed robbers are cleared in this state.
“A lot of information and help came from members of the public. That is why we continue to ask for support from the public.”
Some of the items recovered from the gang were three double-barrelled guns, one AK-47 magazine containing 30 rounds of 7.6mm live ammunition, police uniforms, 22 telephone handsets and two UBA safe keys.
One of the suspected robbers, Emma (19), who said he used his share of proceeds from their operations to “arrange his room” confessed to some of what the CP said.
He said, “Yes, we went to the hotel on Airport Road, but I did not know that the bag in our car contained police uniforms. They told me there was N4.6m in the hotel but we did not see anything like that. We drove in the car of a bank manager that we robbed.
“I don’t know anything about gun; it is our leader, director and Sakpoke that got the guns we used in the operation.”