Cameroon: Menoua Voyage bus hijackers arrested

By Cameroon correspondent: The men surrendered all passengers on board the bus, hijacked the steering wheel and drove into a far off bush, then searching passengers and leaving them stranded before making away with booties.


Bus in police custody in Bonanjo, Douala

Bus in police custody in Bonanjo, Douala

Some 63 passengers and a driver were in the early hours of today, June 2, assaulted and ransacked and the transport bus in which they were travelling hijacked. Just like the rest of the passengers, the suspected hijackers, eight in total, boarded the Menoua Voyage bus matriculated Lt 621 BO in the night of (yesterday) June 1 at Bepanda Ntone in Douala for Dschang, but soon turned against their fellow passengers with locally fabricated guns in both hands pointed at the innocent passengers some who had already dosed off.

At gun-point and risk of courting fatal disaster, the other of the armed hijackers asked the driver to stop, then charging him to step down. The 63 passengers ordered to unconditionally relinquish their properties were also compelled to walk out. Meanwhile two of the armed hijackers climbed down the bus, stood by the door one with a gun pointed to the passengers and the other ransacking them as they walk out of the vehicle. An undisclosed huge sum of money robbed of the helpless passengers, including other booties such as cellular phones and bracelets, according Judicial Police sources, have been recovered from the assailants. Some weapons such as locally-made pistols used during the attack are in police custody in Bonanjo.

Security Delegate for the Littoral, acting on an informant’s phone tip (surmisably a security chief who was travelling the highway between Douala and Bafoussam that night), alerted the Second Group of the Mobile Intervention Unit (MIU), who, in conjunction with the Bonanjo Judicial Police, deployed heavily armed security contingents that tracked down two (Ako Fidèle, 26, and Godlove Esoufou, 27) of the hijackers on the Bekoko-Buea road.

The story goes that after disembarking the passengers at Bomono, Mungo Division, and overtaking the steering wheel, the assailants drove into a thick Bekoko bush far from the highway, hence searched every luggage as well as emptied sacks of their valuables before trekking with the booties 15 kilometres from Bekoko toward Buea. Confronted by security men at about 3 a.m. yesterday, the armed men opened fire, but lost the battle to the uniform men thanks to an unfolded police stratagem and masterly strategy. One of the assailants received a bullet injury on the leg while the pursuers sustained some bruises.

It is from Ako Fidèle and Godlove Esoufou, arrested few hours after the nocturnal assault, that some of the stolen properties were recovered as well as weapons used during the onslaught. The duo, who have been placed in custody at the Judicial Police, are helping in further investigations expected to help in tracking down six of their accomplices who are yet at large. Meanwhile transport bus is in custody in MIU in Bonanjo. At about midday yesterday the passengers were being each interrogated by judicial police officers at their Bonanjo headquarters.

NB! Picture caption: Bus in police custody in Bonanjo, Douala.