Three suspected thieves who allegedly diverted a container loaded with pharmaceutical drugs worth N40m to Igando area of Lagos State have been apprehended by the operatives attached to the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspects, Emmanuel Onyike, 51; Alabi Daudu, 68; and 58-year-old Paul Aina were arrested by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad attached to Zone 2, on Saturday, July 18 while other members of the syndicate, identified as Ikechukwu, Babawale, Shola and Alhaji, are still at large.
The State Command said the container which belonged to the United States Agency for International Development, was on its way to a warehouse of the Society for Family Health in Sango Ota, Ogun State when it was hijacked and diverted by the suspects to an unknown warehouse in Igando, area of Lagos State where they allegedly planned to sell the contents.
It was gathered that the police recovered about 500 cartons of drugs, which the container was conveying.
One of the suspects, Daudu, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State, admitted that he was saddled with the responsibility of getting a truck to convey the diverted container, adding that they had not sold any of items prior to their arrest.
He said, “Babawale was a friend, and he was the one who brought the deal. He told me he had some goods, and I should get him a truck to convey them. I knew it was stolen goods, but I did not know they were USAID drugs.
“We drove from the Tin Can Port to an area in Igando. Babawale deceived me that the truck contained household batteries. He did not let the three of us know the warehouse.
“This is the fourth operation I would be participating in. I was arrested by the SARS, Ikeja, on a case of diverting roofing sheets. I got N1.8m from the operation. I got N2m from the second. I cannot remember the third. But now, I am repentant. I have grandchildren.”
Another member of the gang, Aina a native of Itapa, Ekiti State, and a father of six disclosed that he was lured into the act by Daudu, adding that his role was to get buyers of the goods.
He said, “I knew Daudu when we were selling clothes in Isolo. He told me there was a business he wanted us to do together. I did not have money. It was poverty that forced me to agree to the deal. The plan was to take the products to a buyer. I was asked to provide some of the buyers. I made a mistake. I don’t want to go to jail.”
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2 Command, Joseph Mbu, affirmed that investigations into the matter was ongoing.
“On June 15, we received a written petition on the matter. We detailed Operation Commander, SARS, to investigate the case. Investigations are ongoing to apprehend others who are still at large,” Mbu’s representative, DCP Abiodun Ige said.