By Ifeanyi Okolie
Seven members of a notorious armed robbery gang, including a serving army officer, that specialized in hijacking goods on major highways in Lagos State, have been arrested by Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, Lagos.
The suspects, who were identified as Jude Madu, Osita Nnaji, Chibueze Umezu, Abuchi Anuaya, Edwin Ndinememu, Romanus Nweke and Salau Adamu, the army officer, met their waterloo, when they hijacked a forty feet container carrying Forever Living Products, worth over N33 million, along Ikorodu Road.
Crime Alert reliably gathered that the bandits, clad in military camouflage uniforms, usually patrol major highways of the state in unmarked vehicle, searching for potential targets.
On identifying a target, the bandits would pull over in front of the truck carrying the container and bring it to a halt, while the army officer, who is usually armed with a rifle will order the driver and his conductor out of the truck, before throwing them into their operational vehicle.
A member of the gang, would then take over the wheels of the truck and drive it down to Iddo Terminus Park, Lagos Mainland, where it would be trans-loaded into another truck. In most cases, the abducted truck drivers and conductors, are usually drugged and dumped along the highways.
They are usually stripped of all valuables, including money, cloths and mobile phones before being dumped in isolated areas. Incidents like this, have been common within the state and the bandits have always gone away with their crime. But in this case, the management of Forever Living Products didn’t take it lightly.
They contacted the police at Anthony Police Division, where they commenced investigation into the case, before it was transferred to the SARS for proper investigation.
Sources disclosed that, SARS operatives, led by SP Abba Kyari, swung into action and tracked the bandits to a hotel which serves as a hideout for the gang. Seven members of the gang, including the army officer, were all apprehended and during interrogation they confessed to have hijacked the container belonging to Forever Living Products and many others within the State.
A source, who craved anonymity said; “they told us that the goods were taken to a notorious stolen goods receiver known as Obinna in Onitsha, Anambra State, but they could not give us his exact location or home address. Obinna, is a notorious receiver that is known all over the federation.
He receives over 70 per cent of all the hijacked goods in this country and he is on the wanted list of almost all the Police anti-robbery formations in the country and yet nobody has been able to lay a hand on him.
He recruits criminals from all corners of the country but none of them knows how he looks. No one has been able to provide meaningful information that could lead us to him. They claim, communications are done mainly by phone and they don’t get to meet him at all.
After we arrested this gang, we quickly used them in arresting the driver whose truck was used in trans-loading the goods and he took us to a warehouse in Onitsha where the goods were stored and we found just half of it.” the source stated. When Crime Alert interacted with the suspects, some of them claimed that Forever LivingProducts,was their first operation and they blamed indulgence on poverty.
But the leader of the gang Jude Madu, said it was his second operation. He said he got Obinna’s contact through one Sunday Obasy, who he said is in prison custody. Madu, also stated that Salau Adamu, the army officer provided the army uniforms they used for the operation. He also gives us moral backing and motivational support.
According to him; “ I got to know Obinna through Obasy, but I never met him. We talk only on phone and that is how he gives me instructions. I got to know the soldier through Romanus and he has been highly instrumental to our success. Obinna told me that he is highly interested in buying PVC chemicals, so I and my gang went out to look for it and we hijacked a container along Airport Road, Mafoluku.
We sent the goods to him and he paid us N8 million. He asked us to look for more and we did so. When we hijacked the Forever Living Products, we thought the container was carrying PVC chemical, we didn’t know that it was drugs and even when we sent it to Obinna he refused to pay us claiming that the goods have no commercial value. We were still reeling from that loss when the police came and apprehended us.