An eight-man-syndicate has been apprehended by the Special Anti Robbery Squad Ikeja, Lagos, for diverting six containers of goods estimated at over N25m.
The containers, said to contain frozen fish, agricultural spraying machines, PVC ceiling tiles, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation pipes and some equipment belonging to the Central Bank were loaded on six trailers at the Apapa wharf.
A police source in SARS said the syndicate comprising drivers and touts usually offer their services to unsuspecting business owners who want to transport their goods from the wharf to their various offices.
The source said, “After taking possession of the containers and registering its contents at the wharf, the syndicate will then change the number plates of the trailers to enable them to divert the goods without being trailed once they leave the premises of the wharf.”
It was learnt that the syndicate got into trouble after two of its members, Anthony Iziakor and Ibrahim, were arrested by the Ilasan and Alakuko police divisions.
The source said, “Iziakor staged a fake robbery operation with some members of the syndicate so that the container of frozen fish could be diverted. While his escort was dragged down from the trailer, Iziakor drove off with the robbers.
“The escort reported the case at the Ilasan police division, fearing that Iziakor had been killed. However some of his neighbours who heard of the ‘robbery’, were surprised to find him at a hotel in Abule Egba. He was subsequently arrested and transferred to SARS were he owned up to his crime and gave up two of his conspirators, Obinna Okoye and Joshua Aduma.”
Ibrahim was arrested at Alakuko while trying to offload a container of NNPC pipes which was headed for Port Harcourt. His cooperation with SARS operatives after his transfer from Alakuko, led to the arrest of five more suspects, one of whom is a receiver, Kingsley Eke.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer DSP Ngozi Briade, when contacted said, “I don’t have the full details of the arrest yet. I will get back to you when I do.”