A 34-year-old man, Iwueze Kingsley, has explained how he and his gang rob cab drivers of their vehicles by pretending to be passengers and offering them food and drinks.
Kingsley was arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in Lagos for stealing a car and other valuables belonging to an Uber driver.
According to the IRT, the suspect lured his unsuspecting victim named Clifford Echereode to a bar in the FESTAC area of Lagos on the night of April 22, 2019, pretending to be needing his taxi service to pick his brother who was returning from The Gambia from the airport.
He however pretended to be nice to the cab driver, persuading him to follow him to the bar to take some drinks and barbecued meat, while they waited for a few more minutes before heading to the airport.
Kingsley offered the driver meat that has been laced with a drug called ‘antivan’, which made him to doze off shortly after.
Kingsley made away with the cab, a Toyota Corolla marked GGG 720 FK, an Infinix android smartphone and other valuables.
The IRT, based on credible intelligence, swung into action, tracked and arrested Kingsley.
During interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime, revealing the activities of his gang, their mode of operation and how they sell the stolen vehicles in the Eastern part of the country.
His confession led to the arrest of other members of the notorious syndicate including Moses Ugwu, Ugwoueke Euphemia and Onyebuchi Odoh, who receives the stolen items before they are sold.
In his confession, isclosing how he got into crime, Kingsley, who claims to be a National Diploma certificate holder in Public Administration from the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, said he never thought he could be arrested soon by the police.
He said: “In 2017, I got a job with UBA after initially being sacked while working as a driver for Ecobank. I was earning N50,000 every month at UBA and was satisfied with that until Moses Ugwu asked me to stop.
“He told me that there were better ways we could make quick money. He started by giving me fairly used cars to sell and after selling, he would give me N50,000.
“One weekend, he called and asked me to look for a clean car for him, that he had a business meeting in Lagos.
“I got him a Toyota Corolla being used for Uber and waited for him at the airport. When we picked him up, he told the taxi driver that he was hungry and wanted something to eat.
“He took us to a restaurant at Ajao Estate and told the driver that he was going to pay for his services for the whole day.
“He called me aside and showed me a tablet before asking me to buy suya across the road for the driver and sprinkle the powder on it.
“I was confused but obeyed. The happy driver took the suya and ate. Few minutes later, he fell asleep. Moses then took the driver’s car key and we left. It was while we were leaving that he told me that was his line of business.
“He gave me N50,000 and asked me to go home. Two days later, he paid N170,000 into my account. That was more than my salary for three months while working in the bank. I got carried away and decided to work with him.
“I joined him to do several jobs in Lagos before standing on my own. That was how I got into the business.”
According to the IRT, efforts were ongoing to track and arrest other fleeing members of the syndicate.
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