The Lagos State Police Command has warned residents of the state against buying goods looted at the Shoprite malls in Lagos during Tuesday protest against xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
According to the command’s spokesperson, Bala Elkana, stiffer punishment awaits buyers of such stolen products.
Shops and businesses linked to South Africa in Lagos were invaded by hoodlums who looted valuables, while others were vandalised in other places.
Such shops include Shoprite malls in Lekki, Surulere and Ikeja, just as several others with no links to South Africa but sharing mall spaces with South African businesses also suffered attacks.
On Thursday, the command arraigned over 80 people suspected to have participated in the looting.
The Nigerian Tribune reports that security experts have also said some of the expensive looted items especially smartphones, wristwatches and other electronics could be tracked.
Elkana said on Friday that punishment for those who buy the looted goods would be stiffer than the looter.
“We have already put surveillance in place to make sure that all the looted items are recovered. Stiff punishment awaits anybody that buys from those who participated in the looting.
“The punishment for receiving stolen goods is tougher than that for the person who stole except the person used weapons to steal,” Elkana said.
He advised prospective buyers to make their purchases from recognised stores and shops to save themselves from embarrassment.
“It is assumed that you intentionally bought stolen items since you bought from an unusual place,” the police spokesman added.