By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, yesterday arrested one Ajibola Alao, a member of a three-man gang of fraudsters, who specialise in carrying unsuspecting persons in their commercial bus and fleecing them.
With successful operations under his belt, luck however ran out on the 29-year-old at Oshodi after dispossessing their lone passenger of his two phones and the sum on N61,000.
The suspect, in company of the driver and conductor of their operational bus, a Volkswagen Transporter, with the registration number: APP 820 XE, had picked up their passenger, Asotie Benedict, at Ladipo with agreed plan to drop him at Oshodi Under Bridge.
But instead, Alao and his accomplices, armed with an alternative plan, did not stop at Oshodi Under bridge for him to alight.
Rather, citing the presence of LASTMA at that bus stop, they pretended to ascend the bridge towards Oshodi Oke and it was at that point they dispossessed him before forcing him to alight while the vehicle was in motion.
According to Asotie, “After throwing me out in motion, they threw N100 fare beside me on the road, perhaps, for me to find my way back home. But, I didn’t give up, I chased the bus.
“Fortunately, I sighted RRS vehicle, Response 091 and I quickly alerted them and they chased the vehicle to a halt. They arrested Alao, who took all I had on me but the driver and the conductor abandoned their vehicle and escaped.
“All they took from me were found on him and some additional phones, which he disclosed to the police they took from previous victims of their one chance operations.”
Alao, in his confessional statement, disclosed to be part of a three-man one chance gang, adding that the two additional phones in his possession belonged to two previous victims of their operation in Oshodi.
He said: “I have been in the business of one chance since 2015. At a point, I stopped and began pick-pocketing, joining buses to Sango, Agege, Oshodi, Apapa and disembarking whenever I have fleeced commuters of their phones and money.
“At a time, I was arrested in Mushin Olosa Police station and my mother pleaded with the officers and secured my bail. She warned me repeatedly never to take other people’s sweat.
“I did it then because I needed N140,000 to pay my house rent. At this time, I got more than that from a week operation but I didn’t stop then. Now, I went back into it to help raise funds for my siblings so that they won’t follow the same path.
“Most of my colleagues in the business were arrested by RRS last year. The few who were not arrested relocated to other states.”
Confirming the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, said the command would not rest on its oars in nipping in the bud criminal activities in the state.
The suspect had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, for further investigations.