Nemesis has caught up with a syndicate that specialised in diverting goods at the Tin Can Port Apapa Lagos.
The syndicate, including four men and a woman, was exposed after they attempted to bribe police officers attached to Festac Division, Area E Command, Lagos, with the sum of N250, 000 after they were arrested on Wednesday while allegedly attempting to divert a trailer load of bags of cashew nuts worth N13.7million meant for export.
The syndicate would have succeeded in their scheme but luck ran out on them when a team of policemen led by Inspector Peter Alyasi attached to the Area E Command Festac while on stop and search patrol at the No Man’ s Land area of the town intercepted the trailer.
Inspector Alyasi subsequently demanded to see the content of the goods and their vehicular documents. Instead of giving the policemen what they requested for, the syndicate led by the alleged criminal receiver of the goods offered the police N250, 000 bribe.
A police source said: “The woman claimed to be the owner of the goods but when she was questioned, she began to fidget and offered to bribe the policemen to let the trailer go without inspection. The policemen pretended as if they were cooperating with the syndicate and the woman brought out N100, 000 cash and offered it to the policemen. Immediately, the policemen arrested the woman, the driver and others and drove the trailer loaded with cashew nuts to the Area E command and detained the suspects.”
It was gathered that Inspector Alyasi under the instructions of the Area E Commander found out the authentic owner of the goods was a certain Mr. Bumi Olumekun and subsequently called him on the telephone to come to the station to identify his goods.
Speaking about the arrest and how his goods were diverted, Mr. Olumekun who is the President of Frieght Forwarders Association of Nigeria, said: “I received a call on my mobile phone and the person calling introduced himself as Inspector Peter Alyasi from Area E Command Festac Town Lagos.
He said they have arrested the driver of a trailer I hired to move my cashew nuts to Apapa for exportation. I rushed down to the station and learnt that the driver of the trailer I hired with his motor boy and three other persons diverted my goods.
Inspector Alyasi said the suspects offered him N250, 000 but his conscience did not allow him to take the money. I am in shock that a driver will connive with others to divert goods he was paid handsomely for. I usually hear such stories but it has happened to me and I feel urgent steps should be taken to stop these syndicates operating in our ports.
I commend Inspector Peter Alyasi and his team for turning down the bribe. This has shown that there are good people in the Nigeria Police and not all of them are corrupt.” The suspected driver identified as Yemi Alanu said he was deceived to divert the goods. He said: “I was deceived to sell twenty bags of the cashew nuts for N2,000 each.
I did not know the price of the bags but I later found out that each bag costs about N46, 000. I was diverting the goods in company of the woman who wanted to buy them to a ware house in Festac Town when the police arrested us.
We made frantic efforts to bribe the police w i t h N250, 000 but Inspector Peter who was leading the team turned our offer down and arrested us. I feel bad for getting myself involved in this crime. I allowed the woman to deceive me and greed led me into this mess.”