About three weeks ago, Adebayo Wasiu, 26, allegedly conspired with four other persons to rob his employer of truckloads of goods worth N13m.
Wasiu had just started working with a chemical company in Lagos for a month when he hatched the plot to rob his employers. CRIME DIGEST gathered that in the first place, he had sought employment under a false identity.
Wasiu was said to have approached a recruitment firm for a job as a security guard. He had filled the form under an alias, Wahab Kabir Adams. Although he lived in Sango-Ota, Ogun State, his home address read 14 Adeyemi Street, Gbagada, Lagos.
Unfortunately, Wasiu’s address was not verified before he was posted to work at the chemical company, which he ended up robbing.
About two weeks after he was employed, he connived with his friend, Ismaila Aremu, who worked as a machine operator in a flour mill, and sometimes also operated under a false name, to rob the chemical company.
Aremu fell in with Wasiu’s plans and went ahead to introduce the latter to an alleged receiver of stolen goods, Isiaka Isa.
Wasiu said, “After discussing and finalising the plans with Isa, we decided that we needed a welder to break into the warehouses, which would be locked. Also, we needed a transporter who would help us with a vehicle to move the stolen goods. We wanted more hands to help with loading the goods into the trucks.
“So, we contacted a welder known as Lawrence, who then took us to a transporter residing in Shasha, Sule Oseni. Oseni provided a truck to move the goods, while Isa drove the remaining members of the gang to the company when it was time for us to rob them. It was also Isa’s job to finance the operation and pay off the gang members after getting a buyer for the goods.
“I was on duty on the night of the operation. At about 8 pm, I told the other security guards who were on duty with me that I wanted to have dinner. I left carefully, leaving the gate open for the other robbers to come in,” Wasiu said.
Although all the suspects claimed not to have used arms to subdue the three security guards on duty, for about eight hours, they worked undisturbed, filling up their truck and two more which they found in the premises, with N13m worth of chemicals and some finished products, which had not been launched into the market yet.
At about 5 am, the robbers left with three trucks filled with their stolen loot. They had also gone ahead to fill up the trucks with diesel stolen from the company. Meanwhile, their victims were still tied up.
However, Isa waited in a hideout at Mowe, Ogun State, for a signal to show that the operation was successful. The three trucks were driven to Mowe and their cargo was loaded into another truck. The company’s branded vehicle was then abandoned at Mowe. That same night, Isa made the journey to Ibadan, where a buyer was already waiting. At Ibadan, a second truck belonging to Wasiu’s employers was abandoned after its contents had been removed.
Describing how he got involved in the robbery. Oseni said, “I was somewhere at Aswani when I got a call from Lawrence (the welder). He had kept some of his welding tools and a gas cylinder at my home at Shasha. I told him where I was and he came in a Toyota RAV 4 that was driven by Isa. Wasiu was also in the car that night. When I made to get into the car, Isa protested, saying he didn’t want me in his vehicle. But Lawrence reminded him that they had to go to my residence in Shasha so that he could retrieve his tools.
“Isa finally gave in; I entered the vehicle and we drove to Shasha. After Lawrence collected his tools from me, he pleaded with the rest to let me join them in their plans. Although I didn’t know what the plans were initially, I was so disgusted with Isa’s attempts to stop me from entering his vehicle that I told Lawrence I wasn’t interested.
“Wasiu also took sides with Lawrence and insisted that they needed more hands. Eventually, I also changed my mind, and along with Isa, we joined the gang. They told me that they had some goods to pick up somewhere at Acme and when the day came, Isa drove us to the company. He just dropped us off and drove away. If Wasiu and others had used arms to subdue the security, I wouldn’t know because I came in and met about 15 persons already waiting to load products into the waiting trucks.”
The crime was eventually uncovered and the gang was apprehended by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the police in Lagos. Interestingly, Wasiu’s share of the multimillion naira loot was a paltry N50,000.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, confirmed the arrests. He said, “Wasiu had previously worked for several employers using different aliases. His personal details, including house addresses and guarantors, are usually false, making it difficult to trace once he has robbed his employers and escaped.
“Isa was involved in another case of fraud at Ajao Estate, where he, with the help of another friend, obtained a car from some dealers under false pretences without paying for it. After a formal complaint was lodged at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, we were able to trace Wasiu through his phone. He never went back to the company after the robbery. Gradually, we have rounded up the principal members of the gang. We were able to recover the stolen goods. The men will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.”