The Police have arrested a witch doctor and 25 others suspected to be linked to the snatching of 79 cars in the state.

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It also confiscated a shrine believed to be used by the “juju-priest” in fortifying the criminals for their operations.

The Commissioner of Police in Rivers state, Olatunji Disu, who paraded the suspects at the Police Headquarters on Moscow Road, during the week, said Chidube, Anthony and Kelechi (a car mechanic) were major culprits in the car-snatching business, disclosing that Chidube trains his men on car snatching and he was linked to all suspects arrested while Kelechi is an expert in removing trackers.

The CP stated that most of the cars stolen were taken to Kano and Anambra states, where they sold them off, even as scraps.

The Rivers police chief said 79 cars have been linked to the suspects, adding that six of them were ex-convicts.

He said the suspects use spare and master keys to steal the vehicles convert them to commercial vehicles and drive out of town with passengers to beat security checks.

Disu said the command also arrested receivers of the vehicles, who came into town with the robbers and told them the kind of cars to be stolen.

He said: “Their witch doctor has been arrested. He tells them when is safe to go for operation. We also have a team of robbers, who follow you when you go to the bank. When you resist them, they attack and fire you. Their firearms have been recovered.

“The syndicate began operating in January 2023 and has been responsible for the theft of more than 40 cars. They all came to Port Harcourt from different states to perpetuate their criminal enterprise. Their operation sees them snatch cars or steal them from where they are parked.

“The cars are then classified into those to be sold or those to be sent to a scrap yard in Mgbuka-Obosi, Onitsha, to be ‘butchered’ for spare parts.”