A factory driver, Dominic Nege, has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly stealing goods valued at N10.3m.
The goods reportedly belonged to Rabel Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of International Breweries.
PUNCH Metro learnt that on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Nege was sent to deliver 143 crates of beer at Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He was alleged to have switched off his phone and diverted the goods.
It was gathered that when efforts to locate him proved abortive, the case was reported to the police.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, during a parade of the suspect at the command headquarters in Ikeja on Thursday, said operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad arrested the suspect in Benue State.
He said, “Efforts to arrest the suspect paid off on Monday, June 11, 2018, when he was traced to Makurdi, Benue State. During interrogation, the suspect led detectives to the Sangotedo area of Ibeju Lekki, where the Mitsubushi truck, with number plate, JJJ 873 XJ, was abandoned after he had disposed of the goods.”
PUNCH Metro also gathered that when Nege’s employer checked his profile, it was discovered that he falsified the information he gave, including that of his guarantor.
The suspect, who confessed to the crime, said he lost his peace after diverting the goods.
He said, “I was arrested inside a church in Benue State. I was in the church to pray for forgiveness and confess to the pastor because I did not have peace of mind.
“I sold the crates of drink by going to people’s shops. I told them that the company had organised a promo. I sold one crate of beer, which cost N1,900, for N1,800. But those who bought five crates were given one extra crate.
“So people showed interest and ordered for some crates on credit. I even gave a man about 89 crates of beer on credit. He later paid me N30,000.”
The suspect’s boss, Jacob Audu, said he employed the suspect out of pity.
He said, “We asked him to transfer products from one of our warehouses to another one. After about three hours, we didn’t see him. We suspected something was wrong and reported to the police.
“I helped him because we are from the same state. Despite what he has done, I will continue to help people. He is just another confused young Nigerian that thinks that stealing is the best way to the top. But if he gets out of the system with a reformed mind, I can still give him a second chance. But for now, he should be charged to court as a deterrent to others.”
The CP, however, said investigation was still ongoing, adding that detectives were on the trail of all buyers of the stolen goods.
He said both the suspect and receivers of the stolen goods would be charged to court.