How we smuggled stolen cars from Nigeria to Benin Republic, returned them as Tokunbo — Trans-border robbery suspects

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Operatives of the FIB Intelligence Response Team (FIB-IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force have smashed a five-man trans-border robbery syndicate who specialised in snatching cars from Nigeria, refurbishing them in the neighbouring Benin Republic and bringing them back as tokunbo (fairly used) vehicles.

Three members of the gang were arrested after a robbery operation they carried out around 8 pm on June 14. After the operation, one of the members was said to have taken a snatched car to the receiver in Cotonou identified as Suleiman.

The arrested suspects are 23-year-old Abdulrafiu Olamilekan, Idris Adesina, 26, and Suleiman Aliu, 35. The remaining two members of the syndicate, Wandoko and Tunde Jonny a.k.a Elija, remained at large, The Nation reports.

Narrating how he was arrested, Olamilekan, who hails from Oyo State said, “In my first operation, we saw a man at Ojuore in Ota, Ogun State on May 5, 2021. We were five in number. He came down to open the gate to his house and we rushed towards him.

Another car we snatched was kept with me in Nigeria, but the buyer I got for it happened to be a police officer. I sold the car for N500,000, but the police officer paid N100,000 and told me to come back for the balance.


He arrested me when I went back to collect the balance, saying that the vehicle had an issue and somebody would come to interrogate me. That was on June 14, 2021. That was how I was arrested.”

On his part, Adesina, who hails Ogun State, said, “When we snatched a Toyota Avensis car, someone sent us the receiver’s phone number and the receiver came and took the vehicle to Cotonou at about 12 midnight, because that was the hour you would not see any police officer on the road.

The Avensis was sold for N250k and they gave me N40k. For the car I took to the receiver in Cotonou, they paid N250k. When I was coming back, the receiver, Baba Ibeji, gave me four guns to give to the gang. I gave them three and kept one. I later snatched a (Toyota) Highlander and took it to Cotonou and Baba Ibeji paid N200k.”

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