Attempt by a fleeing driver to divert a trailer loaded with 600 bags of rice, valued at N6 million, has been averted by policemen attached to Area ‘E’ Command, Festac, with the arrest of four suspects.

The truck driver, James Usman, a staff of H. Safiediene Transport Company Limited, reportedly loaded the truck from Ports of Lagos, Apapa Wharf, Sunday, for onward transfer to the company’s warehouse at Agboju.

However, he allegedly diverted the truck, number plates BDG 524 XH, to Mile 2 Estate, from where he reportedly alerted the others to come and transfer the goods onto another truck. Time was 8p.m.

4 arrested over diversion of 600 bags of rice In Festac

They were reportedly in the process of transferring the bags onto another truck, when policemen attached to Area ‘B’ Command, Festac, who acted on a tip-off, swooped on them. Usman was said to have fled, leaving the others behind.

Babatunde Omoh, 47; Abiodun Quadri Abey, 45; Taiwo Makinde, 42, and Wasiu Adeshola, 25, were arrested.

Expressing concern over the increasing cases of diversion of trucks from the ports, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, advised transport and haulage companies to strengthen internal checks and control within their companies, with a view to reducing the rate of collusion between staff and criminals.

He commended the police personnel for the timely intervention that led to the arrest of the suspects and the subsequent recovery of the truck and the goods.

In an interview with journalists, the alleged principal suspect, Omoh, stated that he only ordered six bags of rice from the fleeing driver, only for him to bring a trailer load.

‘We were invited to offload’

Others claimed they were loaders, saying they were only invited to offload the rice, not knowing that the goods were diverted.

According to Abey, “I am a labourer. I was called to come and offload the rice at N20 per bag. I had barely started offloading when the Police rounded us up.”

The goods were then later released to a member of staff of H. Safiediene Transport Company Limited, one Mr. Ahmed Nurudeen, by Area ‘E’ Police Commander, Mr. Frank Mba.

Expressing gratitude for what he described as the swift response of the policemen, Nurudeen said but for their intervention, the company would have lost the goods.

He disclosed that the fleeing driver had been working with the company for one year and wondered why he decided to divert the goods.

Culled from :Vanguard