About 10 armed robbers attacked a bullion van conveying huge sums of money from Enugu to Nsukka branch of a commercial bank yesterday in Nigeria. They killed two policemen escorting the van and escaped with the money.
Stray bullets also hit another policeman and three civilians, including two occupants of a Hilux van belonging to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited.
Report says the crime occurred at Fen-park junction of the Enugu road few minutes before 11:00 am. The robbers trailed the bullion van and the police escort vehicle from Opi-Nsukka road to the Fen-park junction, then double-crossed the escort vehicle and engaged the policemen in a shoot-out.
They overpowered the policemen, shot two dead and left another with severe bullet wounds, after which they ordered the bullion van driver to drive ahead of their Toyota Sienna space wagon towards Queen’s College, Nsukka. The wounded police and civilians hit by stray bullets were taken to Bishop Shanahan Hospital for treatment.
Among the slain officers is Mr. Edwin Adonu, a station officer of the Nsukka police station who came back recently from a promotion course.
An eyewitness said: “The armed robbers succeeded in taking the bullion van and its driver away, but on getting to a place near Queen’s College, they brought out a gas cylinder and welding machine with which they ripped open the roof of the van and transferred the bags containing the money into the Sienna and drove away.
“But few meters from the area, they snatched a V-Boot Mercedes Benz car in which they conveyed the money and headed towards Ehamufu, in Isiuzo Local Government Area.”
The Police PRO, Mr. Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said several police patrol teams were immediately dispatched to Nsukka to ensure a crackdown on the fleeing robbers.
He disclosed that the troop caught up with the robbers at about 3:50 pm along Ehamufu-Nkalagu road as they attempted to escape into Ebonyi State.
“The combined army-police patrol teams pursued them from Nsukka through Ehalumona, Umunko, Ehamufu road in Isiuzo Local Government and encountered them along Ehamufu-Nkalagu road. A general purpose machine gun, and the stolen money were recovered, but the actual amount has not been ascertained for now,” Amaraizu said.
He said that while fleeing from Nsukka, the armed robbers changed vehicles three times, from their Sienna to Entraco mass transit bus, which they later dropped for a stolen Peace Mass Transit bus. Finally, they dumped that for a Mercedes V-Boot in which they were apprehended.