The police is on the trail for an armed robbery gang that attacked a bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, along Benin-Onitsha Expressway, on Tuesday.
The robbers, numbering about 15 and wielding AK45 riffles, were said to have succeeded in carting away large sums of money after breaking into the save compartment of the bullion van.
The robbers who were dressed mostly in red attire and face cap and operated in a Siena bus and a Prado SUV were said to have been trailing the bullion van from Benin to Agbor before intercepting the bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, in Aniocha South local government area of Delta State.
It was gathered that the trigger happy men shot sporadically with their sophisticated weapons at the police escorts following the bullion van and that some five policemen and eight civilians were shot dead in the process.
An eyewitness said the operation lasted for about 15 minutes and that other unsuspecting travellers and passersby were forced to scamper for safety for fear of being hit by stray bullet.
It was also gathered that several cars somersaulted while others ran into the bush in an attempt to escape from the rampaging robbers.
The Delta State police public relations officer, Celestina Kalu, a deputy superintendent of police, who confirmed the incident to journalists, said the bullion van was conveying money from a bank in Agbor to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in Asaba when it was attacked by the robbers but that she was not aware of any deaths.
“Yes, there was a robbery incident this afternoon when armed robbers ran into our men after robbing a bullion van coming from Agbor. They met our men while escaping after attacking the bullion van. I do not have record about any death as a result of the incident. What I have is that our men were injured and they have been taken to the hospital for medical attention. Even the civilians that were injured have been taken to the hospital as well,” she said.
Kalu said that the robbers succeeded in carting away some money during the operation but she did not have figures about how much.
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She said the police has instituted a manhunt for the fleeing robbery gang and that investigation into the incident had commenced.