Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a gang of robbers for allegedly stealing phones from prostitutes in Ogun State and selling the valuables to sex workers in Lagos.
The two suspects – Semiu Obanla, 35, and David Edet, 32 – were arrested in a hotel at Abule Egba, Lagos, after a stolen phone was tracked to where they lodged.
The suspects, who were both married with children, allegedly confessed to the crime in their statements to the police.
Obanla said, “David and I met at a site in Ikorodu where we worked as casual workers before extending the working relationship to friendship. Aside from working at construction sites, I also work at the Idi-Iroko border where I assist smugglers.
“Sometime in February 2018, I reconnected with David. I invited him to work at the border after his attempt to raise money through yahoo-yahoo (Internet fraud) failed.
“We agreed to start stealing phones and valuables from our lovers and prostitutes because we usually visit brothels daily for sexual pleasure after work.
“That night, after drinking at a bar in the Atan area of Ogun State, Edet and I proceeded to negotiate with prostitutes for sexual pleasure. Before approaching them, we planned to steal their valuables.
“The plan was successful. We had two unsuspecting prostitutes who believed we were good customers but didn’t know our motives. We agreed for N5,000 for a night for each of the prostitutes. We paid N3,000 for lodging overnight at a nearby motel, which we used regularly.”
He added that around 3 am, Edet sneaked into his room and stole his (Obanla) phone and that of the sex worker in order not to raise any suspicion.
The suspect said they sold the phone to another sexual worker in Abule Egba, Lagos, for N20,000 and shared the proceeds.
Obanla said sometime in April, he met a lady on a bus while travelling with his accomplice from Atan to Idi-Iroko, Ogun State.
“I spoke to the lady and invited her to our regular drinking bar.
“As usual, Edet and I planned how to steal the lady’s mobile phone and flee the scene. When the lady arrived at the bar where we were waiting for her, Edet and I sat separately to avoid being seen together.
“I purposely used the lady’s phone till the battery was low. I offered to help her charge the phone inside the bar. She agreed and released it to me.
“I kept the phone in my pocket and walked out to tell her that I was helping her to charge it. I then pretended I was receiving calls and stepped outside the bar from where I fled on a motorcycle and Edet followed me.
“We proceeded to the Abule Egba brothel to sell the phone as usual. We sold the phone to a sex worker. It was there that RRS officers tracked the phone to us and arrested us,” he said.
The police said they recovered two phones from the suspects.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, said the men had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.
He warned Lagosians to be cautious of criminals who pretend to be helpers, adding that the command would continue to hound criminals in the state.