Residents especially those who flag down private taxis when heading to their various destinations should now be wary of this action as unscrupulous elements have devised the use of private cars to perpetrate crime on the Mainland.
InsideMainland gathered that the crime is usually perpetrated by criminals disguising as private cars drivers to lift unsuspecting passengers before tricking them to part with their valuables and personal belongings.
According to a Twitter user, Dejoke Carew who shared her experience on Twitter, she boarded a private taxi from Ogudu, Lagos Mainland, and heading to the Island but was lucky to quickly discover the occupants of the car were criminals.
She tweeted saying; “So I entered a ‘cab’ from Ogudu heading to the Island, there were two other people in the car, I assumed they were passengers too. One of them said he wanted to alight at Oworo and he has a bag with clothes in the boot, the driver said it’s a lie.
“The driver said he opened the bag when some passengers alighted because he thought they forgot their load. He said the bag is full of hard currency, no clothes or whatsoever. So for that reason he wasn’t dropping the man, he’s taking him somewhere.
“Suddenly they asked for my intervention. I didn’t say a word because I’ve heard of different stories like this and how they kidnap or rob people who interfere. The driver changed route, so I asked why, he said he’s taking the man to where he’ll explain how he got the money. So how about me?”
She added that; “The third passenger said she was going with them. At that point, I knew something was wrong. I asked to get down immediately, the lady still had guts to tell me to follow them, saying it won’t take long. Oga please I want to alight oo. The driver stopped for me to get down ooo. Thank God.”
Meanwhile, her tweets have led to several other residents sharing their experience os similar nature.
According to a user, Ofemiwari, “I experienced the same thing along that route last Thursday. I joined the car at toll gate. Can you describe the car?”
Another user, Mixed Wealth also shared that; “This happened to me 2 weeks ago. I was going to Ikeja from Ogba. I didn’t even answer them, and just asked to alight. God will keep saving us.”
Also sharing his experience, @Afridog said; “It happened to me in the year 2004. I went with them from Ejigbo to one corner in at Cele-express behind one canal. I was just laughing at them in my mind as all the area na my hood. As we got to the final destination, they all got down from the car to call their Oga.”
Speaking to InsideMainland, an official of the Lagos State Police Command said some victims had reported cases of loss of properties and valuables to the Command in the past.
“It is an old tactic criminals use in tricking unsuspecting members of the public but has now being revived due to the increase in private taxi system. It is another form of ‘one chance’ popular with the commercial buses.
“People who have been victims have reported some incidents to us and we are investigating some of the cases. We will however not relent in ensuring that residents are safe while they go about their daily activities,” the source said.
The official however urged members of the pubic to be wary of private cars they board adding that suspicions should be swiftly reported to the nearest Police station.