By Dafe Rukevwe
Delta State Police Command has arrested a syndicate of car snatchers and dealers on stolen vehicles in the state.
A press release by the command, made available to this medium, showed that the said gang members were nabbed after a tip off when a Toyota Camry car with registration no. AG805LEH that was robbed from its owner, Bright Ngbeken in 2018 at Ozoro Junction, Oleh, at gun point, was seen at a mechanic workshop in Abraka town recently.
A team of detectives led by Sgt. Ikechukwu Obuseh, under the Command of the Divisional Police Officer, Oleh, Csp. Na’illah Mo’d, swung into action, apprehended the first buyer, Abraham Dafe who resides in Port Harcourt.
Dafe is said to have led the detectives to the ring leader of the gang, Victor Nele, aged 33 and a native of Ogoni, residing at Elele Rivers State, who though denied being the actual robber, admitted he purchased two cars from one “General” from Omok in Rivers State who is not a car dealer.
Victor also admitted that the plate number found on the vehicle, a light brown Toyota Camry with fake Reg. No UGH916NQ, recovered from him, was discovered to belong to a RAV4 vehicle robbed from its owner, Engineer Emomoh Akpovona at gun point.
The said RAV4 is yet to be recovered and the original plate number of the Toyota Camry yet to also be recovered.
We gathered that Victor Nele already prepared fake vehicle particulars with the robbed RAV4 plate number in his own name with which to sell the said suspected stolen Camry.
Also in police net is Chima Emmanuel, aged 31 who hails from Ahiazu Mbise, Imo State, but resides at Eguruta Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
Emmanuel is said to be a motor mechanic, but doubles as driver to the dealers of stolen vehicles and as well assists to confirm the state or condition of stolen vehicles and how much to pay for the received stolen cars.
Though Emmanuel denied any involvement in car snatching and transacting any vehicle business with the ring leader, Victor Nele, he admitted seeking customers for people who want to sell their vehicles and also into buying and selling of illegally acquired vehicles.
The command also disclosed that also in their custody is Adebayo Muideen, aged 32 who hails from Osun State, but resides at Rumudimaya in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and has a car stand at Eguruta, Rivers State, which he shares with another of his partner, Melvin Otete who hails from Delta State but resides in Rumuhalu Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where they carry out their shady deals of buying and selling of stolen/illegally acquired vehicle and prepare fake vehicle document for vehicles.
A black Toyota Corolla with Reg. No. UGE391BQ was recovered from Melvin Otete suspected to have been stolen.
Investigation revealed that the said vehicle belongs to Oceanic Insurance Group of Companies but fake vehicle particulars were produced on demand without recourse to the original owner.
Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Adeyinka Adeleke, said the suspects will be charged to court soonest as soon as investigation is completed, adding that the command is determined to rid the state of all forms of crimes and criminalities.
The police boss added: “These are warning signals to criminals in the state that there is no safe haven for them,” as he called on them to either quit crime or flee the command, while assuring Deltans of his commitment to their safety and security at all times.