An attempt by a four-man robbery gang to divert a tanker loaded with 44,000 litres AGO that was hijacked from a tanker driver along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway has been foiled by operatives of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Lagos State Police Command, following the arrest of three suspected members of the gang.
Among the arrested suspects was a Lance Corporal with the Nigerian Army, identified as Iwegbulam Peter, while the FSARS operatives are still on the trail of the fleeing suspect, said to also be a serving soldier.
The Guardian gathered that the gang trailed the tanker, which loaded at one of the tank farms along the expressway, from Mile Two to Cele bus-stop, where it intercepted the truck.The truck driver and his conductor were thereafter, ordered by the soldiers who accused them of being bunkerers to enter their operational vehicle, while suspected leader of the gang, Ikechukwu Ezekwe, (44), drove the truck away.
FSARS operatives, who were contacted, tracked the snatched truck to Ajah, where Ikechukwu was about to sell the content to a ready buyer.When questioned, Ikechukwu, who admitted to have hired the services of the two soldiers disclosed that he would have shared the amount realised from the sales of the stolen content on a 50/50 percentage with the soldiers.
According to the father of two: “This is my first time of hijacking an AGO tanker. We used to hijack petroleum product from pipeline vandals, posing as security agents. But the clampdown on vandals by security agents also affected business for us.
“I initiated the plan to hijack the tanker loaded with 45,000 AGO. I invited this soldier (pointing at Peter) and another soldier. On the day of the operation, on a Friday, we waited at Mile Two for over two hours, for tanker loaded with AGO (diesel) and not petrol because the buyer insisted on AGO. By the time I sighted the truck loaded with the specified product, I told the driver to drive behind, until we got to Cele, from where I took the tanker.
“I was already at Ajah where I saw the buyer was driving in front of me, to lead me to where the content would be offloaded. But immediately he sighted the police van that blocked the truck, he zoomed off. The arrangement was for him to buy the product at N130 per litre, instead of N180/N190 sold per litre at the depot.” On his part, the Lance Corporal Peter denied having any knowledge that the truck was to be hijacked.