A man arrested by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command for being a major buyer of stolen mobile phones in Lagos, has confessed to have bought over 4,256 mobile phones from robbers, pickpockets and one – chance gangs operating in the state .
The suspect, Kazeem Bamidele, 42, who is the Second Vice Chairman of the National Union of Road and Transport Workers’ (NURTW), Ajegunle Unit, equally confessed to the RRS Intelligence Team that he has over 52 boys in Lagos State, who steal and sell “clean phones” to him constantly.
Kazeem, popularly known as Elewure in the social circle, was arrested when the RRS Intelligence Team quizzed two stolen phones users in Kogi State in connection with abduction and robbery cases in Lagos State.
The operatives had upon returning from a week-long investigation to Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kogi State, swung into actions by arresting Elewure from his shop in Boundary Market, Ajegunle, after he was fingered to have been the seller of two Blackberry Z10 phones and a CAT phone collected from victims of robbery and abduction incidences in the metropolis.
“I have over 52 boys who sell clean stolen mobile phones to me. On the average, I receive 38 ‘clean’ phones in a week. I have been in the business for more than two years. Boundary Market in Ajegunle, where I have office and shop, is where they sell the phones. I know they are stolen phones. Nearly every guy in Ajegunle is involved in this kind of runs. It is what they do to survive.
“I was pushed into the business by family pressure. I have so many dependants, including two wives and seven children. My mother gave birth to 13 children for my father. Though both of them are no more, only three of us are left and I am the breadwinner of the family.
“I started out in life as ‘elubo’, pepper and maize grinder. I know that most of these phones were gotten from pick pocketing, one chance and robbery. My second wife has mounted so much pressure on me to quit the business long ago but the financial pressure was much.”
He revealed that
“I buy Infinix Hot 2 at N10,000 and sell N12,000; Blackberry Z30 at N20,000 and sell at N22,000; buy Infinix Hot Note at N15,000 and sell at N17,000 and Samsung Galaxy X3 at N11,000 and sell at N14,000. I don’t buy iPhone because of its locking system.”
Lagos Metro gathered that as of the time of his arrest, five stolen mobile phones were found on him. He is presently helping the police to pick up his boys from their hideouts, bus stops and routes of operations. Two commercial buses “danfo” used for robbery and one chance operations are presently at RRS Headquarters in Alausa.
“Some of the phones traced to Elewure were that of high profile members of the society as well as celebrities,”
a police source said.
The image maker in charge of the state police command, Dolapo Badmos confirmed the arrest of the suspect and added that he had been transferred to the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, Ikeja for further investigations.