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Police zero in on cross-border robbers

By Ifeanyi Okolie

A notorious trans-border robbery kingpin, Sunday Fashola (42),  who specialized in snatching exotic cars  from its owners and ferrying them to the Republic of Benin, where they  are disposed,  is currently a guest at the  Federal Special Anti- Robbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island.  

The suspect,  who  was arrested by operatives after they  had been on his  trail for a long time, was alleged to have  staged series of  robbery attacks on  residents of  Ogun and Lagos States,  where he dispossessed his victims  of their vehicles  and other valuables.

According to police sources, ‘Akaradudu’, as the suspect is fondly called by his admires and associates, is a resident of Ilaore village in Ogun State.   He is believed to be one of the few surviving members of the Amani Tijani robbery gang that carried out deadly robbery attacks in Nigeria through the Idi_Iroko_Ota border of Ogun few years back.

It was gathered that, Akaradudu who could be dreadful when confronted, does not only rob or  snatch cars, but  he  also assist his  colleagues  in smuggling out their loot to other countries, as he was highly feared and respected by colleagues, who often considers him as  very powerful.

It was learnt that, on one of Akaradudu’s exploits, he accepted to ferry a stolen Murano Jeep out, to the Republic of Benin.  The Jeep, which was stolen by a member of Amani Tijani gang,  known as Alhaji  some where in Lagos State, was meant for Benin Republic where it could be disposed off easily.  But for the fear of being arrested by security operatives at the border, Alhaji considered Akaradudu the best man for the job.

But before that, he asked him to swear to an oath that he would not make away with his loot.  He offered to pay N 50, 000, when the vehicle arrives Benin Republic successful.

His mission however, took another dimension when, like a leopard that never changes its color,  Akaradudu, who picked the vehicle from where it was parked at Ilaoro by Alhaji, commenced his trip only to accost some traders who were returning from market at Idi-Iroko-Ota. He stopped the  Jeep and went after the traders.  On getting to them, he pulled out a weapon he was carrying and robed the traders.

But unknown to him, the said jeep was on track. When  he got back, the jeep was already tracked down and the doors were completely locked.  He was stunned at the turn of event and went away. Some minute later, the police from Sango Ota Police Station got to the Jeep and towed it to their station.

Akaradudu in his fearless nature, followed the police to the Station to confirm that it was taken to the station. But his sponsor did not believe the tail when it was narrated to him and he also went to the station to see for himself.

According to police sources, operatives at the federal FSARS, who have been on a man -hunt for other members of Amini Tijani robbery gang, got an intelligence report on Akaradudu and his exploits, swooped on him at is residence and apprehended him.  One of the sources told Crime Guard,  “When we went to his house at Ilaoro to affect his arrest, we saw hell because we hear that he is very fetish and we knew it was not going to be easy.   We prepared very well because the report we had shows that he was highly notorious.

We also learnt that on weekly basis, he ferries, over six to seven exotic cars out of the country.   You can see how greedy these robbers could be.   Even when he had a loot at hand, he went for people who were just looking for what to eat.

Then luck ran out on him and the car was tracked down.   When I was interrogating him, he confessed that the identity of the car would have been altered and it would be sold to Nigerian auto dealers.   After his arrest, some residents of the community who heard about it ,called to congratulate us.   They said that we have brought sleep back to their eyes”.

His alleged accomplices inside the cell were;  Sunday Shobowale (41) and Yusuf Babalola (30).  When Crime Guard met with the suspects, they briefly narrated how they carried out their operations.

According to Akaradudu “ I am a car crosser  and I cross vehicles for several people when they need me.  This other man (pointing at Yusuf )  works with me.   We have been doing this thing for a long time. I use to steal but I don’t depend on it because I am always busy with this crossing business.   Truly, some of the people I work for arethieves but I did not know that the Murano , I was taken out was stolen.

Alhaji contacted me to help him cross the Jeep over to Benin Republic, and promised to pay N50, 000 at the end of the job.   He was so scared that I might runaway with his Jeep.   He suggested that we should swear to an oath which we did at Shobowale’s house. You see, things went wrong when the jeep was tracked down eventually and the police came and towed it to their station.

When I informed Alhaji about it, he refused and I had no option than to take him to the station and he saw where the Jeep was parked.  I don’t know the police learnt about my activities but I suspect it must have been the handiwork of informants.” he lamented. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of police in -charge of Federal Special Anti_Robbery Squad (FSARS) Jubril Adeniji, who confirmed the report, said the police are still in search of other members of the robbery kingpin, Amini Tijani gang.


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