By Bashir Mohammed
Police in Kano have successfully smashed a notorious kidnap syndicate, specialised in abducting children in parts of Kano metropolis, and keeping them in the custody of ward heads.
Parading the suspects at the office of the Assistant-Commissioner of Police in charge of Kano metropolitan area, yesterday, the state Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Magaji Musa Majiya, said the leader of the syndicate, one Khalifa Usman, and Aminu Idriss, usually frequented the various quarters in Kano metropolis, spying on houses and kidnapping children.
According to him, their modus operandi include abducting and calling other members of the gang and making phone calls to negotiate with the parents for ransom while the abducted child would be whisked away and finally kept in the house of a village or ward head in the guise of being a missing child.
He added that the suspects would then continue to put pressure on the parents of the abducted children to agree to the condition of paying the ransom in form of supplying GSM recharge cards of different networks, adding that the parents of the abducted children had succumbed to the pressure by agreeing to provide the recharge cards for their children to be released.
He stated that seven children between the age of 4 and 5 years were rescued in addition to recovering 1 GSM phone, 3 sim cards, and recharge cards, which were tendered as exhibits, as all the suspects confessed to committing the crime while efforts were being made to effect the arrest of the remaining accomplices, now at large.
He called on the traditional institutions, religious and community leaders to make proper documentation of all persons conveying missing children or report to the nearest police station, and urged parents to accompany their children while going to school.