It all ended in a nail-biting experience yesterday for a gang of robbers who had embarked on a raid of an old generation bank in Mpape area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. One of them was shot dead in the act while four others were arrested by a combined team of soldiers from the Guards Brigade and policemen who foiled the robbery. The suspects had apparently stolen enough money and were in the process of carrying away their loot when they realized that the building had been surrounded by security personnel. They were holed up for about six hours. Soon, the policemen started firing canisters of tear gas into building. Unable to bear the suffocating effect of the tear gas, the suspects abandoned their mission and made to escape. They only ran into the waiting hands of the soldiers and policemen. Also picked up by the Police from Mpape Division for questioning were some staff of the bank and its security men, suspected to have aided the bandits’ entry into the banking hall.
It was curious how they gained access into the bank on a Saturday, when the bank did not open for business, without any resistance or firing a shot. Eyewitnesses said the suspects were almost making away with their loot when a bank customer who was using the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), noticed suspicious movements and alerted a senior staff of the bank who in turn called the Police. It was like a scene from a movie when dozens of armed policemen and soldiers surrounded the bank located on Mpape Road waiting for the armed robbers who were trapped inside the bank. One of the robbers was however shot and killed while trying to escape. The robbers came out at intervals, and surrendered as they were picked up by security men. The incident resulted in a heavy gridlock on the narrow road that leads to the community as a huge crowd thronged the scene on hearing the news of the robbery. Four “Ghana must go” bags of cash were recovered from the robbers, it was gathered. The FCT Command of the Police confirmed the development. “In prompt response to a distress call at Mpape, the FCT Police Command has foiled an attempted robbery attack at a First Bank branch at about 1200hrs, today,” Deputy Public Relations Officer of the command, Yusuf Mariam, said in a statement.
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