The suspects were said to specialise in stealing people’s telephones with the intent of hacking into their accounts.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, disclosed this to journalists.
He said 23 telephones and N102,000 were recovered from the suspects.
The PPRO explained that one of the suspects had already withdrawn N851,000 from a victim’s account before he was arrested.
He gave the names of the suspects as Uche Louis, 21, from Mbieri, Imo State; Junior Abamu, 25, from Uromi, Edo State; Chinemelem Anugwam, 21, from Mbano, Imo State; Agaro Afo, 26, from Ideze, Delta State; and Abraham Patrick, 25, from Obubra, Cross River State.
Mohammed said the suspects were arrested following intelligence reports.
He stated, “Police operatives attached to the ‘B’ Division, Awka, arrested six suspected members of a notorious syndicate at the UNIZIK temporary site, Awka, who specialise in stealing phones from unsuspecting passengers in commercial vehicles and using the phones to hack into bank accounts of their victims to siphon their money.
“Their arrest was sequel to an earlier arrest of a member of the syndicate, one Nkem Emmanuel, 26, of Agbor-Obi in Agbor Delta, at Aroma with a Nokia 3.2 android phone valued at N37,000, which he allegedly stole from a co-passenger, one Ebere Okafor, while they were travelling in a commercial tricycle.”
Mohammed said exhibits recovered from the suspects included 23 mobile phones, 13 memory cards, dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, codeine syrup, assorted drugs and N102,000.
“Many victims were contacted and they have come forward to identify the suspects and their belongings,” the PPRO stated.
He said among the victims was one Ohaka Uchechi, whose Infinix Hot-8 phone was allegedly stolen by the principal suspect, Nkem, in a commercial tricycle at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University’s temporary site.
“The victim had turned away his face when his co-passenger, the suspect, coughed repeatedly in his direction, oblivious of the fact that it was a ploy to distract him in order to steal his phone,” Mohammed stated.
He said the suspect later used the information obtained from the phone to withdraw the sum N851,000 from the victim’s bank accounts.
Mohammed added that the suspects had made voluntary confessional statements and would be charged upon the conclusion of investigation.