‘There was no profit in my saw milling busi­ness so I took to buy­ing stolen phones’

Daily Trust - - JOBS & CAREERS - From Eu­gene Agha, La­gos

An ex-saw miller, Ben­jamin Ade­mola, who quit the job in quest of, as he said, greener pas­tures in the sale of stolen mo­bile phones, is re­gret­ting the de­ci­sion.

Forty-year-old Ade­mola was a saw miller at the Okob­aba sawmills, Ebute Meta, La­gos main­land, but he de­cided to walk away from the busi­ness be­cause, as he said in his con­fes­sional state­ment, there wasn’t much profit in it.

The sus­pect said he met the pick pocket who in­tro­duced him to the phone theft crime last year.

“I have lost count of how many phones I had pur­chased from him, but I can re­mem­ber that all the phones I bought from him are an­droids. I later shifted base to the Com­puter Vil­lage, Ikeja, where I mixed with those who hock phone ac­ces­sories. I started hock­ing ac­ces­sories my­self. Later I got a small stand where I sell phones.

“Ev­ery day, pick­pock­ets and bag snatch­ers come to the mar­ket with phones. We buy phones cheaply from them. After buy­ing, we will clean them with spirit to make them look new. We will re­place those with bro­ken screens with new screens be­fore putting them up for sale. It was Idris that brought the po­lice to ar­rest me. I was told that he was ar­rested at Ebute Meta where he had gone to steal a phone from a house, “he said.

Idris ad­mit­ted sup­ply­ing Ade­mola with stolen phones, stress­ing that Ade­mola was one of his ma­jor re­ceivers of stolen goods.

He said, “I had gone to a house at Oy­ingbo last Fri­day. It was around 5:00a.m. and the day was still dark. I cut the net of the win­dow with a ra­zor blade. It was a sin­gle room. I peeped into the room and saw an iPhone on a ta­ble. I stretched my hand through the hole I made on the win­dow and took the phone.

“The owner spot­ted me as I was about leav­ing and raised an alarm which at­tracted peo­ple in the neigh­bour­hood. They pur­sued and caught up with me around the Den­ton area. They gave me the beat­ing of my life be­fore hand­ing me over to the po­lice.”

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