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Two in police net over stolen truck

Published by Tribune on Wed, 23 Mar 2011


WHEN a suspected port rat, Sunday Eboegbeh, and a stolen property reciever, Odewale Gabriel, conspired to remove a fairly used Mack truck with chasis number IM2W131A 3DA020811 with forged documents, from the premises of a clearing and forwarding company, Five Marks Logistic Ltd, at the Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, little did they realise that the long arms of the law could catch up with them.The stolen vehicle was said to have been imported into the country by one Mrs. Titilayo Azedeko, with the assistance of a micro finance bank at Oregun area of the state.Crime and Security gathered that the lid was however blown off the cover of the criminal activities of the two suspects, who are now being detained at the Federal Special Anti-Robber Sqaud (FSARS) FCID, Annex, Adeniji Adeola Road, Lagos, following the presentation of some documents for the clearing of the truck by the said consignee, Mrs. Azedeko.It was learnt that when the documents were being processed, it was discovered that the Mack Truck had been removed by unknown persons  after which the case was reported at FSARS, for investigation.And as soon as the case was reported at the station, a team of anti -robbery policemen attached to the station commenced investigation into the case. Further checks revealed that during the cause of police investigation, one of the suspects, Monday Eboegbeh was arrested, by the police. He admitted that himself, and others at large used some documents called Machine Outside (M.O.) to remove the vehicle from Wharf with the help of one Chucks Ozonah.Chucks Ozonah, is said to be an employee of Five Stars Logistics Ltd, Apapa Lagos and had since taken to his heels, upon the realization that he was being sought for, by the police over the stolen vechicle. An insider source at the station informed Crime and Security that the first suspect, Monday Eboegbeh, confessed that forged documents were presented to  men of the Nigerian Customs Service at the Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos before they could take the truck outside the ports.The forged documents included an Intercontinental Bank Plcs reciept of certificate of entry and bill of ladding. The source who craved for anonymity said that  the syndicate allegedly claimed to be the importer of the stolen truck.The source further disclosed that on the presentation of these documents,  police investigators wrote a letter to the Intercontinental Bank with the view to confirm whether the import duty on the vehicle was paid through the bank.But few days later, the bank replied, denying that the documents passed through their system, meaning that the documents were forged by Monday Eboegbeh and the other members of his syndicate, which included Odewale Gabriel and Chucks Ozonah.The police also wrote to the Nigerian Customs Service, to confirm the genuineness of the Motor Vehicle Duty Certificate number B00758079 dated June 4, 2010 which  was said to have been found in the possession of the suspects. And the NCS were also said to have denied that the document originated from them.Crime and security further learnt that after the police had recieved the information from both bank and the Nigerian Customs Service, the police went ahead to request officially from Five Stars Logistics HQ Apapa, Lagos with a request that the company should furnish FSAR with all the relevant information about the missing Mack Truck from its premises at the Terminal.Five Stars Logistics Ltd also confirmed to the police in their letter that the truck was indeed imported by the one Mrs. Titilayo Asedeko and that the truck was stolen from its terminal on September 5, 2010. The company also claimed that efforts to recover the stolen vehicle had not been sucessful.Crime and Security further learnt that based on the information, the companys legal adviser, Mrs. Sosanya Kolawole, was invited by the police to write a statement to the police on the loss of the vehicle by the company.She was said to have confirmed in her statement to the police at the FSARS Adeniji Adele road, Lagos, that the vehicle was stolen from her employers premises.Meanwhile, the commissioner of police, Federal SARS, Mr. Jubril Adeniji, confirmed to Crime and Security that all these facts were used by his men to interrogate Monday Eboegbeh who was alleged to have confessed to the police investigators that he sold the vehicle to the second suspect, Adewale Gabriel, an alleged receiver of stolen items, for N3.5 million.The CP, in an interview with Crime and Security however noted that the sale of the vechicle by the  suspect was not backed by any document. The police boss  expressed delight that the Mack Truck had since been recovered from Odewale and parked in police custody as part of the exhibit to prosecute the two suspects in a court of law.Infact, few days after the recovery of the vehicle, it was released to Five Stars Logistics Ltd, Apapa, Whaff, Lagos on bond and with a promise by the companys management that it would produce the vehicle at the commencement of the prosecution of the case in court.
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