By Mary BASSEY
EXCEPT the law says otherwise, Bolaji Hafiz, the man who specialized in using fake bank alerts to deceive auto-sellers to buy (steal) cars, may spend better part of the rest of his life behind bars. Sources said the 35 year-old suspected thief was recently rounded up somewhere at Victoria Island Lagos by crack Police detectives attached the dreaded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad FSARS Ikeja, Lagos following a tip off. CrimeWorld weekly newspapers was informed that the team which was led by the Officer-in-charge O/C FSARS, Chief Superintendent of Police CSP Mohammed Sanusi had been on the trail of the suspect who was said to have moved several posh cars out of car stands across the state using fake bank alerts to deceive car sellers. According to sources, Bolaji’s modus operandi includes arriving at any choice car stand, go for a relatively expensive one, negotiate and pay using his handset to do a transfer of the agreed sum while the seller would immediately receive an alert on his account indicating that the stated sum had been lodged in his account. But a later check on the account with the bank would show that no such amount was paid by anybody, not even Balaji. Meanwhile, Bolaji it was gathered, would in turn sell the car to another car seller collect his money and disappear into thin air for sometime before re- appearing on the stage again to ‘buy’ another one. But the curtains dropped on him recently after he had gone to a particular car stand in the state, ‘bought’ an unregistered Rav 4 jeep; 2008 model through the same method adding that he had scarcely left the car shop when detectives swooped on him while cruising in the car and got him arrested.
Upon interrogation, sources said Bolaji owned up to the crime; assuring Police detectives that he was ready to take them round various places across the country where the stolen cars where resold.
Frantic efforts to get the reaction of the Lagos State Police Command’s public relations officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole was not possible as of the time of this report but a senior source at the FSARS informed that plans had reach advance stage to recover all other stolen vehicles maintaining that the suspect was cooperating with the Police.
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