An alleged pirate kingpin, Austine Ezekiel Agba, who has been terrorizing the fishing community of Ibeno, has been arrested in Akwa Ibom in a sting that lured him from Bayelsa State to receipt of a proposed ransom of N3million.
The pirate kingpin, who arrived Akwa Ibom on Saturday, June 28, 2016, lodged at Olympus Hotel, Afaha Uqua Road, Eket, in anticipation of receiving a lucrative amount of money as ransom for a kidnapped fisherman, was arrested the following day by Chairman of Ibeno Community Security Officer (CSO) attached to the Nigerian Navy Patrol Team, Ukwekpo Job.
According to Mr. Job, a nominee of the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Chief Effiong Achanga, the trail to capture the pirate kingpin was borne out of persistent cries by fishermen in his community who were always faced with the atrocities meted on them by sea pirates.
Mr. Job further said the pirate kingpin “is one of the most notorious and influential leaders” of one the pirate organizations that roamed the seas hijacking fishing boats, engine, fishermen and their families for ransom.
The arrest of the pirate kingpin has also led to the discovery of two alleged accomplice known as Simeon Ebong and Samuel Ikotinye who are current detained in the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Akwa Ibom Police Command alongside Ezekiel.
Not satisfied with the situation, the people of Ibeno have expressed fear that the alleged pirate might be set free, considering the “rumoured exchange of money between men of the Nigerian Police in-charge of the case and some supposed sponsors of the pirate.”
They have also called on the Akwa Ibom State Governor and the Inspector General of Police to look into the matter to avoid reprisal by the sea pirates which might lead to bloodshed.
A Police source from the State Police Command, who confirmed the incident, said the kidnap syndicate were three, Austin Ezekiel; Friday Paul and Christian Ekenu.