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‘I sold Sierra Leonean envoy’s car to Nigerian buyer for N1.6m’

-Confesses Syndicate member

Winifred Hannah Koroma

September 9, 2016

A member of a syndicate of stolen goods receivers, Abdulrahman Hassan, weekend disclosed how the 2014 Toyota 4Runner SUV belonging to Sierra Leonean Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Major General Alfred Claude-Nelson was sold to a buyer from Niger Republic for N1.6m, equivalent to $3,500 ,according to Crime Guard.

The envoy was kidnapped in July on his way to Kaduna but later released few days later without his car being recovered. Since his release, Nelson Williams has still not returned to his station in Abuja where he was assigned as the Sierra Leone Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria.

Suspects Hassan, who made the disclosure, was arrested alongside three other members of the syndicate which had received over 100 stolen vehicles from notorious gangs of armed robbers and kidnappers terrorizing the North Western part of the country.

According to Crime Guard in Nigeria, the suspects who were identified as Abdulrahman Hassan, 42, Abubakar Datti, 45, Aminu Adamu Yakasai , 49 and Shuaibu Yahaya,’ 48, were all rounded up by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Team, IRT, at various hideouts in Kano State.

Sources revealed that the suspects were arrested following confessions made by a gang of kidnappers who abducted the Sierra Leonean envoy and the Executive Director of Dangote Group, Alhaji Mansur Ahemed, on the Abuja- Kaduna Expressway.

 Police sources disclosed that several other robbery and kidnap gangs operating in Kaduna and other parts of the country also supplied stolen vehicles to members of the syndicate who would drive the vehicles into Niger Republic.

When Crime Guard interviewed Hassan, he confessed that he was aware that the Toyota 4Runner he bought from the kidnap gang belonged to the Sierra Leonean envoy and that he paid one Balarabe Mohammed, N1.2million who brought the vehicle to him.

“I drove the vehicle and I sold it to one Alfa who is one of my buyers in Niger Republic who paid me N1.6million for the vehicle and I made N400,000 profit from the deal”, he said.

 Hassan, who is a native of Gezawa area of Kano State, also narrated how he ventured into crime, his journey to prison in Warri Delta State and his exploits as a receiver of stolen vehicles.

He said; “I was formerly selling ram at Dei-Dei Market at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, before one Usman Zamfara introduced me into receiving stolen properties in 2009. In 2011, I received a stolen Honda CRV from one Ebele in Warri, Delta State and after he was arrested, he led the police to me and I was arrested and dumped in prison. When I was released one year later, I went back to my business. In 2015 I met one Suraju who is deceased now who promised to always supply me stolen cars. He gave me two cars, a Toyota Lexus 300, which I bought for N350, 000 and a Honda Accord Hennessey, which I bought for N150, 000. But before he died, Suraju also linked me to one Balarabe Mohammed, who sold a stolen Toyota Corolla 2002 model, to me at the N450, 000, a Toyota Four Runner, 2009 model which I bought at the rate of N1.2million. I sold these vehicles to one Alfa who is based in Niger Republic.

“I sold the Toyota Corolla at the rate of N700, 000 to Alfa, who also bought the Toyota Four Runner at the rate of N1.6million. Alfa then paid N650, 000 for the Lexus and N330, 000 for the Honda Hennessey. I knew these vehicles were stolen and that was why I didn’t sell them in Nigeria but took them to Niger Republic where they would not be found. Balarabe also brought an Audi Squadron Saloon car 2014 model which I bought for N700, 000 and sold it to one Garba Maradi, in Maradi Town, Niger Republic for N1 million. I also bought two Honda Henessy, 1998 Models from one Babagana at N400, 000 each, and a Volkswagen Golf car from one Alhaji Tasiu in Plateau State at the rate of N350, 000.

I gave these vehicles to my boy Abubakar Datti to convey them to my new buyer in Niger Republic known as Mallam Maradi and I was paid N1.4million for the three vehicles. I gave Datti, N170, 000 as his share and I kept the rest. After my arrest by the IRT operatives, I assisted in recovering one of the vehicles, the 2014, Audi Squadron which was sold to Garba Maradi, I was forced to refund the sum of N500,000 he paid to me while my son went to Niger Republic and brought the vehicle to the police.”

Another suspect, Shuaibu Yahaya 57, who is a native of Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, in his own confessions said; “I am an engine oil merchant and I also deal in spare parts. In 2012 I ventured into buying and selling of stolen cars, after one Ali Yahaya, introduced me into the business.

He brought four vehicles to me, a Honda Haller, which I sold to a doctor for N220, 000, a Brama Honda, which I sold for N270, 000 and a Honda Civic which I sold for N180, 000. The fourth car, a Honda Aradie, was sold to a banker for N200, 000. I got my commissions from the proceeds of the sale of the cars, but few months later, Ali was arrested by policemen from Zone 1 Police Command, Kano and he led them in arresting me.

I was charged to court and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. After I was released, I went back to the business and received a 2013 model of Toyota Camry from one Suraju for N350,000 and sold it to one Daudu Maradi, in Niger Republic for N400, 000 and N50, 000 as my commission. This was about five months ago. Later on, I met one Abubakar Datti, who gave me one Toyota Sienna and I sold it to one Maigida, of Nasarawa State for N400, 000.

Datti also brought another Toyota Camry which I took to Maidiga who paid us, N350, 000”. In his own confession, Aminu Yakassi, a native of Kofar, in Kano Municipal area said that he started receiving stolen cars, in 2008 and in 2010 he bought a stolen 1986 model of Honda Accord Saloon car from one Alhaji Mohammed of Kaduna State for N300, 000 but Alhaji Mohammed was later arrested who led the police in arresting him and the car was taken from him.

“After I was released from the custody of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, I went back to my business and I received a 2010 Toyota Camry from one Dikko and I paid him N1million. I drove the car to Niamey in Niger Republic and I sold it to one Iliya for N1.5million. I was later arrested by SARS operatives from Kano State and I was charged to court and I spent eight months in prison before I was granted bail. One month ago, I also received a Toyota Hilux from one Jibril Danfulani who had links to a notorious robbery and kidnap gang. I paid him N900,000, I drove the vehicle personally to Maradi Town, in Niger Republic and I sold the Hilux to one Mallam Haruna for N1.3million.

I also bought three vehicles; two Toyota Carina E and one Mercedes Benz. One of the Toyota Carina’s was bought from one Baffa, for N300,000, the other Carina was bought from one Afamtama from Bauchi state, who sold it for N130,000 . The Mercedes Benz was sold to me for N500,000 but when I was arrested by IRT, they recovered the last three vehicles from me. Before my arrest, I got a call from one Ogbonna from Lagos State who asked me to look for buyers for a truck load of Spaghetti that was hijacked by his gang in Lagos State.

I also sold a Peugeot 607 to one Dogo who took part in the kidnap of John Mikel Obi’s father. When the police arrested Dogo and he told them that I sold a vehicle to him, the police came after me but I ran to Niger Republic and I hid there for one week before I returned to the country and was later arrested. The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, while confirming the arrest, assured that the suspects will be charged to court at the completion of investigations.

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