Ten members of a notorious armed robbery gang, which specialises in robbing bank customers, have been arrested by operatives of Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team in Lagos State.
The suspects identified as Musibau Ogunbiyi, Rilwan Olarinwajo, Wahab Wasiu, Akeem Hassan, Idowu Taofiq, Sadiq Alada, Razaq Isah, Tunji Kundus, Tijani Koyim and Ibrahim Olagoke were apprehended after robbing a businessman of N2m in his shop at the Abule-Egbe area of Lagos.
According to findings by Saturday PUNCH, the businessman, whose name has been withheld, reported the incident to the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, through a petition where he disclosed that his mobile phones and those of his staff members were collected during the robbery operation.
IGP Mohammed immediately detailed operatives of the IRT to go after the culprits and ensure those responsible were arrested.
During investigation, the IRT operatives were said to have discovered that those behind the robbery were members of a notorious gang operating on motorcycles and had been terrorising residents of Lagos, especially customers making withdrawals at banks.
An IRT official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “During their operation, one of the gang members usually stays on a motorcycle and trails a bank customer with money before alerting his colleagues waiting nearby.
“They will thereafter rob and dispossess the unsuspecting victim of the money and other valuables.
“We discovered that the suspects have been in this business for a long time and have robbed several bank customers in various part of Lagos.
“Based on the IGP’s directives, we swooped on the suspects and arrested 10 of them from different parts of Lagos and Ogun states.”
Confessing to the crime, Wasiu, whose job is to monitor customers coming out of banks with cash, said he was lured into robbery by a friend.
The 28-year-old said, “I am into aluminium production but went into armed robbery in 2017 after being introduced to it by a guy named Tunde.
“There was a day he invited me to follow him to do his business and asked me to go to a bank at Idimu and stand beside the ATM to monitor people withdrawing huge amount of money.
“The plan was for me to call our bikeman who is Akeem Hassan once we identify a target so that we could start trailing the person.
“Tunde usually joins us later and we rob the person of his money. Sometimes, when I am standing by the ATM, I also monitor customers coming out of the bank with nylon bags of money before trailing such persons until we rob them.
“So far, I have trailed over eight bank customers and built a house with the money I made from the robbery operations.”
In his own confession, another member of the gang, Musibau Ogunbiyi, revealed that it was from the proceeds of robbery that he was able to give his late father a befitting burial recently.
He said, “I was formerly a mechanic before joining the National Union of Road Transport Workers but I was arrested when I went to fight at Alaba International Market.
“I spent one year at Kirikiri Prison but was granted bail and released. After I was released from prison, I started looking for job but couldn’t get any.
“I met one Tunde at a popular hotel in my area; he told me that he had a gun and was looking for connection to go for any armed robbery operation. Three weeks after we met, Tunde called and said he had an operation and wanted me to be part of it.
“I met him at Egbeda and we took a motorcycle to rob a man at Idimu. We collected N250,000 from him.
“I got N70,000 as my share and he left with the rest of the money. One month later, three of my friends called and told me that they had information that an Igbo trader selling motorcycles was making huge sales daily and that they wanted me to lead them to rob the man.
“I told them that I had no gun for the operation but they persuaded me to use my contacts to get a gun.
“Then I called Tunde and told him about the operation and he brought his guns and we all went and robbed the man. We took away N2m.
“I got N230,000 as my share, Tunde got N240,000 and we gave the remaining to the informants to share.
“I buried my late father with my own share of the money and bought some clothes with the remaining before I was arrested by the police.”
The suspects, according to the IRT source, would be charged with the crime as soon as investigation into the matter is concluded.