This weekly update spotlights organized criminality in the Niger Delta with a focus on rising criminal violence in Bayelsa State. According to data (see map above), violent criminality caused more than 160 fatalities in Bayelsa State between January 2021 and June 2023. Recent data shows a rise in incidents of criminal violence in the State, especially robbery and kidnap for ransom. In May 2023, for instance, a 20-year-old girl was reportedly shot dead by robbers in Azikoro community, Yenagoa LGA. In June, gunmen reportedly attacked and robbed a businesswoman at her shop in Opolo community, Yenagoa LGA. The woman was allegedly robbed of several valuables including a Point of Sale machine and a large sum of money. Separately, in June, a staff member of a commercial bank was reportedly abducted by suspected kidnappers in Yenagoa, the state capital. Recently, on July 26, 2023, a five-man criminal gang that has been scamming individuals and businesses was reportedly arrested by vigilantes in the state capital. The syndicate allegedly hypnotized and swindled a Point of Sale (POS) operator out of 400,000 naira.
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