Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Housemaid, agent in police net for multiple robberies

The police in Lagos say they have smashed a robbery syndicate which specialises in posing as domestic servants only to rob their employers after 24 hours of being hired.

The suspects, John Christian, Angela Ekere, Amos Daniel and Gift Christian were arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad after weeks of investigation.

According to the police, one of the suspects, John, posed as an agent who helped people to hire domestic servants.

It was alleged that after John was called for his services, he would bring a housemaid and handed her over to the client. It was learnt that the new housemaid would, within 24 hours, rob the employer of money and other valuables and share the loot with the suspect.

John, an indigene of Cross River State, said that he was a bonafide agent, adding that he engaged in the crime only once.

He said, "I recruit domestic servants for people and I have been in the business for over a year. Most times, when I hire a housemaid for someone, the person refered me to another person so that is to show you that I am genuine. Apart from that, I am also an electrician.

"Problem started after I was introduced to one Mrs Obasi eight months ago. She called me that she needed a cook but when I got her a cook, she sacked the girl soon after because the girl was not good at the job. So, I decided to get her another girl."

The father of two said less than 24 hours after the new housemaid, Angela, resumed work, she robbed her boss of jewellery worth N5m and a BlackBerry.

After the robbery, Angela went to meet her husband, Daniel, and gave him a necklace worth  N1m before proceeding to John's house to give him his share of the loot.

John said, "Obasi called me to inform that she was looking for Angela and asked me to call her if I saw her. A few minutes later, Angela came to my house with jewellery, but instead of reporting the theft, I was tempted by the devil to conspire with her.

"I took the jewellery to a Bureau de Change operator who bought the gold from me for N590, 000. I took N250,000, gave Angela N250,000 and gave my wife, Gift, N30,000. I gave another friend of mine the remaining money."

Asked how he spent his money, he said, "I rented a new apartment for N80,000 in Igando area of Lagos. I then travelled to my village to enjoy myself."

Angela however berated John for lying, maintaining that she was contacted by him for the sole purpose of robbery.

She said, "The previous housemaid who was employed by madam (Obasi) told John that she was not brave enough to rob so John told her to case the house and find out where valuables were kept. Immediately I was hired, I waited for my madam to go out and when she did, I went straight into her room and stole all her valuables. I left her house immediately after.

"After getting my share of N250, 000 from John, I went to a boutique and bought clothes worth N250, 000 unfortunately, everything has been seized by SARS men."


Angela's husband, Daniel, was also arrested by the police.

Daniel, who claimed to be a 30-year-old local carrier, said he sold the necklace given to him by his wife for N609, 000.

He said he used the money to buy a bus for commercial purpose but was arrested soon after.

John's wife, who was also arrested for receiving N30,000 from the loot, pleaded with the police to let her go as she did not participate in the robbery.

It was learnt that the police arrested the gang after Obasi reported the matter to SARS.

It was learnt that John had referred Angela to another prospective victim when policemen swooped in and arrested her. It was learnt that through her confession, the remaining suspects were arrested.

The police also arrested the bureau de change operators, Husseini Garba and Musa Adamu, for receiving and selling stolen property.

When contacted on the telephone, the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Damasus Ozoani, confirmed the arrests to our correspondent.

Ozoani warned employers of domestic servants to be very careful, saying "investigations have revealed that kidnapping and robberies are usually successful due to insider's connivance."

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

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