The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Nkereuwem Akpan, who disclosed this while parading the suspects before newsmen on Friday, said a team of operatives led by the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Squad, also rescued one victim, Mrs Grace Adams.
Akpan told newsmen that the command had received a petition of the illegal activities of some hoodlums in the area, including alleged raping of girls by the gang members.
He said that the command swung into action in the area at about 4 am to cordon the vicinity of the suspects. Akpan said:
“The victim was kidnapped last night, March 5, in Calabar metropolis. We never knew she was kidnapped. We only got information that the said building is used by kidnappers.
“When we struck, we found out that a lady has been kidnapped and kept in their custody and we immediately rescued her.
“If we can have the system that is going on in Anambra where any building that harbours kidnapped victims is demolished, I think it will be better because it will discourage people from going into kidnapping in Calabar.
“Just last month, we recovered a stolen vehicle close to the building and we suspected the vehicle to have been used for most of the kidnappings that have gone on,” he said.
The commissioner, who described the arrest as a breakthrough for the command, said efforts were on to arrest four other suspects that fled during the operation.
Akpan said that the suspects would be immediately charged to court for justice to be served.
One of the suspects told NAN that his gang had earlier demanded N30 million ransom from the family of the victim before the arrest.
“A friend of mine by name Ubong, who is our master, called me to join them in the act; he promised to give me a percentage after the deal.
“When we kidnapped the woman, we demanded N30 million from the family before the police arrested us.
“I am an unemployed graduate of Electrical Engineering from Cross River University of Technology. If I am released, I won’t be involved in crime again,” he said.
The rescued victim, a business woman, said she was abducted in front of her gate at about 7.45pm on Thursday night as she stepped down from her husband’s car after close of work.
“They took me away from my gate at Joseph Mkpang Street in Ikot Ansa area of Calabar Municipality.
“I want to commend the police for this swift response that led to my rescue. I give God the glory that I am free now,” she said.
One of the suspects who claimed to be involved in kidnapping for the first time, identified himself as Harold Isong. He also revealed that he is a graduate of the Cross River University of Technology.