I got N28m in one operation, says suspected trans-border bandit
THE evil that men do no longer live after them, it lives with them’. This is the story of the eight suspected trans-border armed robbers who were yesterday paraded by the Lagos State Police Command for their involvement in various trans-border crimes.
The suspects were the brains behind the robbery of N100 million at Alakija, FESTAC Town and a micro-finance bank in Benin Republic.
Also paraded were a Toyota Sienna bus, two AK 47 rifles, 11 AK47 loaded magazines, which the suspects allegedly hid in a specially constructed compartment underneath their operational bus.
The robbery suspects were mainly traders at Alaba International Market. They deceive members of the public by engaging in legitimate electronics trading whereas their preoccupation is armed robbery.
The suspects: John Nnmadi, 42, (gang leader); Ifeanacho Igwe, 35, Samuel Igbi, 59, Anthony Umeh, 38, Chineye David, 29, Uchenna Eze, 35, Victor Anamalechi, 45 and Desmond Obinna, 32, were said to have been rounded up after the police received intelligence report about them on December 15, last year.
They all confessed to newsmen on their involvement in four robbery operations in Nigeria and Benin Republic.
“I got N28 million and from the money I bought a tipper truck and a car. I also completed my mother’s house in Onicha Local Council of Ebonyi State and sponsored my younger ones in school.”
“I was arrested in Cotonou and jailed for 20 months because I went with a friend to buy guns to start my own gang. But, we did not even buy the guns when we were arrested. It was a set-up.”
“I was released on December 31, 2014 and came to Lagos only for the police to arrest me on January 5, for an operation we carried out in 2011. It was someone who asked me to escort him to Cotonou to buy the guns. We were supposed to meet one Cap in Cotonou.”
“When I received my own N28 million from the Alakija operation, I ran away from the gang, broke my SIM card and bought another line. I bought a bus, which I started using for commercial purpose and my tipper was carrying sand. But the tipper had an accident and killed someone. It also fell into water. I have not followed the group for another other operation. I did not go with them for the Cotonou operation in November,” Ifeanacho said.
Nnamdi told newsmen he was arrested after he got a call from one of his members to bring an international passport forgotten in their operational vehicle.
“It was Shola (Chineye David) who usually gave us information on where to rob. One Onyema contacted him for the Cotonou operation and he told us. We entered the bank in the night from the back and we tied the security guards who were sleeping.
“Victor specializes in opening Bank saves and so, he was the one who opened the bank. We saw a bag there and used it in packing the CFA. We released the security men after our operation.”
“When the money was shared, I got N7m, Shola N7 million, Victor N7 million and Onyema got up to N3 million, the same thing with Nwa Father and others. I bought a Corolla for N1.5million in Lagos. We were not caught and we used this Sienna car for the operation. We don’t usually have problems at the borders because they don’t check our vehicle. We hide our guns under the Sienna.”
“What we got in the Alakija operation was over $200, 000 and when we shared the money. My share was N18 millon. That was in 2011. From the money, I bought one Infinity jeep. I am not the one who built the house; it is my brother in France that owns the mansion at Igando.”
“I used part of my money to start importation of musical instruments, which I sold at Alaba International Market. I used to sell the items and started the business with N3.5million but when I made money from robbery, I started importing. I was arrested when Onyema called me to bring his international passport, which he forgot in the Sienna. I did not know he had been arrested.”
“I have gone for about four operations in Nigeria and Benin Republic. I have not gone to any other country. We have never killed or shot anyone because we usually go at night and don’t shoot. I usually hold one of the guns and give one of my guys another one. I have never used charms, but I pray before going for operation.”
Addressing reporters before the parade, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Aderanti said he got the information at about 11:30p.m. that fateful day about some deadly trans-border armed robbers in Iba, FESTAC town and Igando.
Aderanti said upon his directive to the officer in charge of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Abba Kyari (SP), two SARS “decoy” teams stormed the hideout of the robbers at Victory Estate, Iba, along the LASU/Igando Road, where Igbonwelundu and Umeh were arrested.
“Their confessions led to the arrest of Chineye David, Uchenna Eze, Victor Anamalechi, Ifeanacho Igwe, Desmond Obinna and Nnamdi John, who is the gang leader.”
He further revealed: “The operational Toyota Sienna space bus with Registration Number KFC and two AK47 rifles with serial numbers 3610142 and UR4341 hidden in a specially- constructed compartment underneath the Toyota Sienna, were recovered from Nnamdi.”
“The suspects confessed to several robberies including bank robbery in Port Novo, Benin Republic, a filling station and Bureau De Change robberies in Mali, attempted robbery of UBA Bank, Shagamu Road, Ikorodu, several robberies in Port Harcourt, Kano and the biggest of it all, N100 million successful robbery in Alakija, Lagos from which Nnamdi John built a mega mansion at Igando and Ifeanacho Igwe built a duplex in his village in Onicha Local Council of Ebonyi State.”