The Imo Police Command said it had arrested 14 out of 15 kidnap suspects in connection with the murder of one Emeka Esieme and two policemen in Oguta in February.
Mr Mohammed Katsina, the state Commissioner for Police, made this known to newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday.
“The gang members opened fire when they sighted the anti-kidnap police team. This led to their arrest.”
According to the commissioner, the gang was responsible for the robbery at the Orlu branch of UBA in 2012 and First Bank in Amaraku in 2013.
He said one Osueke, their leader, escaped arrest in February when he ran off to Lagos.
“Osueke sneaked into Owerri last night and assembled his recruits at a hideout in Umutako Ifeakala in Mbaitoli where they were planning to adopt a prominent woman at a meeting.
“They were engaged in massive gun fire by our nearby anti-kidnapping squad during which the gang leader, one Emeka Osueke, alias Ogbanje, was gunned down”, he said.
The commissioner said that one of the gang members fled and abandoned one AK47 rifle believed to be one of the two rifles snatched from the slain policemen.
He listed other items recovered from the gang to include one military assault rifle, 162 AK47 live ammunitions, seven AK47 magazines and four mobile phones.
The commissioner said three pump action guns and 50 live cartridges, one English pistol; two single barrel guns, one cut-to-size single barrel gun, one double barrel gun and three locally made pistols were recovered from their hideout.
Katsina said the command will not relent in fighting and preventing crime and advised members of the public to steer away from it.