By Muhammadu Sabiu
Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) have successfully apprehended a notorious gun manufacturing syndicate in Kaduna State, leading to the recovery of a cache of 26 weapons, including pistols, rifles, and ammunition.
The operation was carried out following a week-long intelligence effort and was announced by Captain Oya James, the media officer for the Special Military Taskforce, in a statement issued on Friday in Jos.
The primary target of the operation was Napoleon John, a wanted gunrunner who had long evaded authorities.
Captain Oya James stated that, “This operation is in line with the commitment of Major General Abdulsalam Abubakar, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, to decisively address criminal activities and eliminate illegal weapons within the OPSH Joint Operations Area.”
The breakthrough came when the suspect, Napoleon John, confessed to his involvement in the gun manufacturing trade and led the troops to a concealed factory located in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Inside the factory, authorities discovered a wide array of weaponry, including seven pistols, two locally fabricated AK-47 rifles, two military-grade AK-47 rifles, nine revolvers, one submachine gun, and various types of ammunition. The cache also included machine tools and a gas cylinder.
In a subsequent operation carried out in the early hours of September 22, 2023, troops raided a hideout in Adua 1 village in Kafanchan, resulting in the capture of two AK-47 rifles, two revolver rifles, live rounds of 9mm and 7.62 ammunition, six dangerous daggers, one hacker axe, several empty cases of 7.62mm special rounds, two police uniforms, and one military camouflage trousers, among other items.
While the major kingpin behind the syndicate remains at large, Captain Oya James assured the public that efforts were ongoing to apprehend him.
Major General Abdulsalam Abubakar, the GOC/Commander OPSH, praised the troops for their unwavering dedication and resolve and vowed to ensure that all members of the syndicate were brought to justice.
He issued a stern warning to sponsors and perpetrators of criminal activities, urging them to abandon their illegal endeavours and embrace lawful means of livelihood.
The successful operation represents a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat illegal arms proliferation and maintain peace and security in Kaduna State and neighbouring Plateau states.