By: Johnkennedy Uzoma

Members of three notorious kidnap syndicates that specialise in terrorising people of the state and beyond were recently arrested by officers of the Imo State Security Services (SSS).

They were said to be operating with two women.

The suspects arrested included the team leader, Henry Chimezie aka Vampire, Akim Bello – a runaway soldier who escaped from Boko Haram area where he served as driver, a native doctor, Dan Onyegide, and the two women.

Parading the suspects before newsmen at the state headquarters of the SSS in Owerri , the state director, Francis Ejiofor, said that the kingpin, Vampire, was arrested at Oafish in Abia State in the house of his elder brother alongside his wife and a nurse that was treating him (Vampire).

The DSS said that Vampire had escaped arrest when he attempted to kidnap election tribunal judges at Disney Hotel, Owerri.

He said that his men started trailing him the day he escaped with bullet wound after the failed attempted kidnap of the judges until he was apprehended at Ohafia. Ejiofor said that before the arrest, the syndicate had been involved in several kidnap incidents both inside and outside the state.

He said that their success in arresting the kidnappers was as a result of the directive of their director-general and the support of the state governor, Rochas Okorocha.

He assured that kidnapping would be forgotten issue in the state before year end.

Addressing newsmen on the arrest of the syndicate, Governor Rochas Okorocha, commended the DSS and other security agencies in the state for their effort in securing lives and properties of Imo people.

In an interview, the kingpin Henry Chimezie, 28, who hails from Nwangele LGA and last born of his parents, said his parents refused to train him in school but trained his other brothers and sisters.

Chimezie said he had been involved with kidnapping for about five years, adding that he has kidnapped four persons in all.

He said the native doctor, Dan Obyegide, took oath with them to keep their weapons in his house and that the runaway soldier, known as Akim Bello, bought food for those kidnapped.