Two suspected members of a robbery gang, one of them a South African returnee, have been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, for allegedly dispossessing a laptop dealer of three Apple laptops valued at N1.5million at gunpoint.
The suspects: Victor Remi, 27, who claims to be a forex trader and Ekeh Maxwell, 23, a musician, posed as a driver and Managing Director of a company. They ordered for the Apple laptops (MacBook Pro – 2018 edition), only to dispossess them of the dealer on arrival at the designated point of collection. During interrogation, the suspects, both residents of 18, Alexandra Street, Abule Egba, Lagos, disclosed that they got details of their victim through his twitter handle.
According to the South Africa returnee, Remi, “I told the dealer I was the Managing Director of a new company on Acme Road, Ikeja. I also told him that my daughter recommended him and that his laptops were good. I ordered one for myself and another for my secretary and told him to bring them.
“It took us a week to initiate, perfect and execute the plan. My colleague, Maxwell, borrowed his brother’s Camry car (FKJ 833 EZ) for the deed. We bought a toy gun and painted it. I told the dealer to meet me at Acme Crescent because we knew the location was a desolate area”.
”While Maxwell drove, I sent the dealer a message on WhatsApp to bring the consignment to my office, last Monday. I told him that my driver would pick him up at Acme Crescent.
“Maxwell picked him at the designated point, while I joined then few meters from where he entered. He (dealer) sat in front with the laptops. Immediately I entered, I placed the gun on his neck and ordered him to surrender them. We wanted to take his phone too but he pleaded not to be stripped of everything. We told him to alight from the car and we zoomed off”.
Preliminary investigation as gathered revealed that after the operation, Remi told his accomplice that the laptops were two instead of three. He further lied that he sold each of the two laptops, N250,000 each instead of the N500,000. On his part, Maxwell, who corroborated Remi’s claim, said he got N250,000, after Remix sold the laptops, adding that his partner threw the toy gun away after the operation.
He also expressed disappointment when he realised that Remi lied to him on the number of laptops and the amount they were sold. Narrating his ordeal, the laptop dealer who did not want his name in print, said that the main suspect, Remi, gave his identity as Uche during the conversation on social media.
According to him, ”We were communicating on WhatsApp. I never had an inkling that they were robbers. They used a gun and knife to dispossess me of the laptops. The three laptops are worth N1.5 million”.
The stolen laptops have however been recovered from their buyers and returned to the owner. Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Zubairu Muazu in his reaction to the arrest of the suspects, advised Lagosians to moderate the amount of information they expose publicly through the social media, adding that criminal elements were exploiting the social media to perpetrate crime.
He restated the commitment of the Command to remain unrelenting in the pursuit of criminals in the state.