By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Esther Onyegbula
According to one of the six On Chance robbery suspects arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad, RRS, in Lagos, yesterday, the economic situation in the country is affecting ‘business.’
The suspect, Adeleke Rasaq, 24, who was arrested alongside his gang members, Lucky John, 22, in Abule-Egba, Agbado Oke Local Council Development Area, they do not make much money from One Chance as they used to in the past.
One Chance is the popular name for a type of robbery in Lagos, where unsuspecting passengers are robbed in commercial buses, Danfo, whose ‘driver’ and some ‘passengers’ are members of a robbery gang.
The arrested Adeleke, who resigned as a factory worker to join One Chance robbery gang, said: “We do not make much money like before. The present economic condition in the country has greatly affected One Chance business. We have not been able to make much money— everywhere is dry.”
Corroborating Adeleke’s confession, his gang’s member, Frankly, said: “We have not made much money since Monday (last week). We have been sharing N20,000, N30,000 and N40,000.
“This is unlike before. When I operate alone, I could make close to N150,000 daily. Now, business is so difficult.”
He said he teamed up with Lucky because pocket-picking was not easy in Lagos any longer.
He said: “When you work alone, you might not make much. It has not been easy working independently lately. So we have to team up to make more money to survive. Both of us live in Badagry.
“Every day, we come to Abule Egba, Agege, Fagba, Egbeda to operate. As soon as we make enough money, we would retire for the day.”
Explaining how he joined the robbery syndicate, he said: “I resigned from the company I worked for when I noticed that a lot of my friends in Ajegunle, who were doing this kind of hustling were living better than companies’ chief executives.
“Every guy does this in Ajegunle. We do not see it as a crime: it is called hustling,” adding that he joined the gang six years ago.
Mode of operation
Another set of robbers, Ubuke Michael, 26, and Obinna Okoro, 24, were arrested in Gbagada after their operational bus, with the number plates, FST 890 XM, had picked up two passengers going to Alaba International Market and Ladipo Spare Parts Market to buy goods.
Ubuke, the leader of the gang, had invited a bus driver and a conductor to join his group in One Chance operations.
Ubuke said the bus driver and his conductor are familiar with the operation, claiming he has so many commercial buses that he can call for operation, he said: “I call them to join me at a particular location.
“The driver and conductor do their normal work, while we collect belongings of the passengers, drop them off and pass them to the driver to hold on.
“The two passengers in the bus were our victims. One of them came out of a bank before boarding our bus, while another had bulky pockets. We were about to collect their belongings when we were arrested.
“We do not normally carry more than two passengers during operations. Whatever we make we share with the driver and the conductor, but our share is normally more than theirs. It is so unfortunate the driver and conductor of our operational danfo bus escaped.”
Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said that there would be no hiding place for criminals in Lagos State, adding that the suspects would be charged to court when investigations are completed.
Badmos said: “Sadly, all the suspects have roots in Ajegunle. The six suspects had been transferred to SCID for further investigation.”