Why we came to Nigeria to snatch vehicles —Beninois suspects

TWO foreigners from the Republic of Benin, Shefiu Kareem and Kola Isiaka, who were suspected members of car-snatching gang operating within Ogun and Lagos states, have said that they came to carry out robbery operations with others because they were jobless and couldn’t resist the invitation to make money.

The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, who paraded the suspects and two others, Abiodun Arapanjo and Adebayo Salako, on Tuesday, July 12, told Crime Reports that his command received a distress call from Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos State that armed robbers snatched a Toyota Highlander 2014 model at Fagba in Lagos and were heading for Oja Odan in Ogun State.

“When we got the information, Federal SARS, Ogun State, moved to the area and arrested four suspects while others escaped. An AK-47 rifle and the Toyota Highlander were recovered from them,” Ali said.

Crime Reports gathered that immediately the gang leader, one Peter, saw that the snatched vehicle could no longer move, he abandoned it close to his residence in Oja Odan and gave his AK-47 rifle to his brother, Abiodun, to keep for him. Adebayo Salako, who also happened to be Peter’s relation, was said to be privy of his criminal activities and also agreed to keep the gun for him.

In an interview with Crime Reports, Shefiu (33), from Igollo in Republic of Benin, said: “I was called by one Peter to join him in snatching car since I know how to drive. This is my first time of joining him for robbery, though he had invited me while I still had a job. I decided to join because I lost my job and had nothing to do.

“He took me to Sango area one evening around 7p.m. and he blocked our target with the operational car, a Mazda 323. Peter was the one who held the AK-47 rifle we used for the operation. After snatching the vehicle from its owner, Peter drove it towards his house but it broke down.

“He left the vehicle and gave his gun to his brother to keep. We also left the place and went to Sango area. Unknown to us, someone saw us and informed the police. When they asked about the gun, I took them to Peter’s brother and it was recovered.”

On why he left his country to perpetrate crime in Nigeria, Shefiu said he was invited by Peter, but stated that he regretted his decision.

Crime Reports learnt that Peter is an indigene of Oja Odan but used to go to Benin Republic for business. “He used to smuggle frozen turkey into Nigeria. That was how I knew him. Our gang members were Popo, Peter, Fagba, Alex and Kola,” Shefiu disclosed further.

The second foreigner, Kola (23), also stated thus: “I am from Takodi in Benin Republic. This is the first time I am joining Peter for robbery. I am a motorcycle rider and he asked me to convey him from Benin Republic to Nigeria. When we got there, he took the bike from me and asked me to enter his operational car.

“We snatched a vehicle but as we were taking it to Oja Odan, it broke down. He left the vehicle and took us away in his operational car. But some people who saw us called Shefiu and he told me that we had been sighted. We left for Sango area and police arrested us there. We did not waste time in confessing to the crime we committed and also took them to where Peter kept his gun with his brother.”