The Lagos State Police Command says its Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants has arrested Berry Boys’ Secret Cult leader, Maliki Bello and 11 others in Lagos.
Bello, 22, confessed that he was initiated into cultism at the age of 12 when he was in Junior Secondary School.
Bala Elkana, the command’s spokesman said on Sunday that on 4 February at about 7:20pm, following a sustained monitoring, operatives from Itire Police Station led by the Divisional Police Officer, SP Barkfur Kromkyes arrested Bello.
“Maliki is the supreme leader of the notorious Berry Boys Secret Cult with operational base at Itire. He is a native of Lalopun, Kwara State but resides at 23 Ayinla street Idiaraba area of Lagos State. Maliki has been on the wanted list of the Police for violent crimes and gang clashes.
“The suspect confessed to be responsible for series of violent attacks, murders and armed robberies incidents recorded in Idiaraba, Lawanson, Dosunmu, Ashimowo Bakare, Omo-Bola Mushin and Itire. The suspect told detectives that, he was initiated into the cult at age 12 when he was in Junior Secondary School (JSS1).
“He later rose to the number one position, mostly addressed as the supreme leader of the berry boys confraternity. The gang has an official Facebook page (Bbl Baloteli) with 1,928 friends. According to Maliki, they use the Facebook page and other social media accounts to recruit new members, plan attacks and give updates to members,” Elkana said.
He said investigation led to the arrest of 11 additional suspects, saying that the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu had further reaffirmed the commitment of the Command to addressing the menace of cultism and youth gangsterism in Lagos State.
“The onslaught on social miscreants launched by the Commissioner of Police is intelligence driven, targeting mostly the leaders of the gangs and cult groups and blocking the channels through which they recruit young people. The Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants has successfully brought under control the activities of various cults and gangs in the State through well coordinated and targeted operations. The onslaught will be sustained until they are totally defeated,” he said.