A member of a robbery syndicate which specialised in robbing women of expensive vehicles in Abuja has said he took to robbery after losing his investment to gambling.
Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team recently arrested the gang. Those arrested were identified as Ego Ike, Obinna Igwe and Adamu Nuhu.
One of the suspects Ego Ike, told The Punch that he joined the robbery gang after he lost a sum of N6 million he had invested in clothing business to betting.
It was gathered that the suspects usually took the stolen vehicles to Niger Republic, where they sold them.
Police went after the gang members after they allegedly stole a 2016 Toyota Corolla from an official of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, who was returning from work.
The suspects were said to have driven the car to Katsina State, from where they took it to Niger Republic before the Nigerien policemen reportedly impounded the vehicle and arrested a member of the gang identified simply as Yellow, while three others escaped.
The three fleeing suspects were recently tracked down in their hideout in Abuja after the FIRS official reported the robbery to the IRT.
Speaking to the newsmen, Ike said
“I was a spare parts dealer at the Ladipo Market, Lagos, but I moved to Abuja in search of greener pastures. When I couldn’t achieve much, I pressured my father to sell his only land in the village and he used the money to send me to Istanbul, Turkey.
“I worked in Istanbul for three years and saved close to N6m which I used to start a clothing business in Nigeria. In 2016, one of my friends introduced me to online sports betting, and I lost all my money. I met one Linus in Abuja and we became friends. He introduced me to a robbery gang.
“We stole a Toyota RAV4 from a woman who was driving to her house on Shafar Road, Abuja and we took the car to Kaduna. We sold it to one Mallam Nuhu for N200,000.”
He added that his gang also carjacked a Toyota Matrix from a woman and sold it in Kaduna for N270,000, adding that they usually targeted women to avoid resistance.
Ike, who hails from Anambra State, also admitted to have participated in the operation in which the FIRS official’s car was stolen.
“We took the car that night to Niger Republic, but at the Katsina border, Linus and I came down from the car while Yellow and a man took the car into Niger Republic. Unfortunately, Nigerien police arrested them.
“We target women because we don’t use guns and women won’t resist us. We go for Toyota vehicles because we easily find buyers for them.”
In his account, Nuhu, a native of Kaduna State, said he took to robbery when he was 17. He said he got a master key he used to steal some cars from one MD in Kaduna.
“The first car I stole with the master key was a Toyota Carina. I stole it in Tuniga Maji, along Kaduna-Abuja Expressway. I took the car to Kaduna and one Garuba bought it from me for N120,000. MD then introduced me to Yellow and asked me to get a vehicle from him. The vehicle had a problem with the engine. We contacted Garuba and he bought it for N180,000.
“I stole three other Toyota Camry cars in Tuniga Maji area and sold them for N420,000 to one Alhaji in Sokoto State. MD also gave me four Toyota Corolla cars to deliver to one Abdul in Niger Republic. Later in September 2018, Yellow introduced me to his own gang, who were operating mainly in Abuja. We were preparing for a robbery operation when the police arrested me.”