Two greedy men, a 43-year-old trader, Enemmuo Amaechi, and a driver, Benson Odefila, have been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly diverting a truckload of musical instruments valued at N19m in the Wharf, Apapa area of the state.
Amaechi, who has his store in the Oyingbo area, told Punch that he knew that the goods were diverted, adding that he paid N600,000 for them.
It was gathered that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad from the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, received a tip-off on November 7 that a truck loaded with musical instruments had been stolen from the Apapa area, and the policemen went on the trail of the truck.
It was learnt that the driver, 67-year-old Odefila, was thereafter arrested in the Ajangbadi area, and he confessed that he had sold the goods to Amaechi in Oyingbo.
The stolen items were afterwards recovered by the police in the trader’s store in Oyingbo, and he was arrested in the Agbado, Ijaiye area of Lagos.
Speaking to Punch, Amaechi said he paid N600,000 to Odefila, who was a friend of the runaway driver, who diverted the truck from the port in Apapa.
The trader said he knew the goods were stolen, adding that he wanted to resell them and make profits.
He said, “I did not know Odefila before now. It was a woman, an Alhaja, who was one of my customers in Oyingbo that introduced him to me. The woman said Odefila had a truck he wanted to dispose of. So, I contacted the driver.
“He asked me to pay N600,000, adding that the goods would be delivered to my store. I have my store in the Oyingbo area. I paid for the goods in two installments. I knew they were stolen goods, but I was tempted to get involved. My greed for profit drove me into this mess.”
Also, Odefila, who hails from Ilaje area of Ondo State, said, “I am a transporter. I am not the driver of the stolen truck, but I was the one who found the buyer. He gave me 10 cartons out of the musical instruments as my share. It is true that I collected N600,000 from him.
“The original driver is Amass; he is on the run. I have not done this business before. Amass is notorious for diverting trucks from the Apapa port, but this is the first time he would send the goods through me.”
According to the police, exhibits recovered from the suspects include 218 units of guitar, 29 units of drum sets, 111 units of amplifiers, 20 speakers and five units of guitar stands.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Bala Hassan, who paraded the suspects, said investigation was ongoing into the matter, adding that efforts to arrest the runaway suspects were being intensified.
He said, “Our men from the SARS received intelligence that the suspects had diverted a load of musical instruments valued at N19m. Based on the information, the men were arrested and the goods have been recovered.
“The duo mentioned one Amass and two others as gang members and effort is on to arrest the fleeing accomplices.”