Police say they have smashed a kidnap syndicate believed to have been terrorizing Osun and Ondo States.

Operatives from the Inspector-General of Police, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) engaged the suspects in a gun battle in their den in Osun State and arrested four suspects.

During preliminary investigation, the suspects were said to have confessed to have been behind several kidnappings in both states as well as the abduction of eight-year-old Taiwo Ahmed, last month, in Oshogbo, Osun State capital.

Members of the gang were reported to have intercepted the mother of the girl, Mrs Basirat Ahmed, while driving in her Honda vehicle at Dada Estate area of Osogbo.

They dragged frightened Taiwo out of her mother’s vehicle and took her to their hideout in the bush from where they demanded for 10 million Naira ransom for her release.

Her devastated parents, it was learnt, paid an undisclosed amount before the girl was released.

The feat by the Police was achieved after the arrest of one of the suspects, Akin Nureni (40), in Osun, two weeks ago, thanks to technical intelligence support.

He was then able to lead the Police to their hideout where members of his gang reportedly opened fire after sighting the policemen.

The police overpowered them with three suspects, Teslim Ibitoye (38), Sunday David (35) and Akeem Ibitoye, fatally wounded.

One of the operatives also sustained a bullet wound on his leg.

While the wounded suspects receive treatment, the police are still on the trail of other members of the gang who fled during the gun battle.