*Allegedly stole boss’s N350,000 before absconding to Cotonou
By Evelyn Usman and Angela Okpe
The unexpected appearance of stern-looking policemen at Mureni Street in Isolo area of Lagos Monday, sent fear down the spines of residents, some of whom went into hiding, while others merely peeped through their windows, wondering at the mission of the cops.
But the policemen who it was later discovered came from Ire-Akari Division had gone straight into a one-storey building and came out with a dark complexioned teenager who was whisked away in their van.
The arrested teenager, Dare Kundare, a national of Benin Republic, is a house-help. He was alleged to have stolen N350,000 from his former boss in the Ojota area of the state last year and absconded to his country.
Preliminary investigation revealed that he had been applying for domestic jobs with fictitious names; that after allegedly perpetrating a crime, he would go into hiding in his home country and resurface when the dust settles. It was further gathered that his likes from Cotonou, Benin Republic are scattered across the country with majority of them in Lagos and Abuja.
Their modus operandi included working between three and eight months for their bosses, in order to gain knowledge of the terrains.
Thereafter, they would strike, either by poisoning their bosses, so as to facilitate movements of whatever valuable they intended to go with or by snatching vehicles and other valuables at the slightest opportunity.
But the now remorseful lad had blamed his resort to crime on the death of his father at an early stage, a tragedy he said left him saddled with the responsibility of catering for his four siblings and his mother. Kundare, however, stated that he had only carried out one operation.
According to him: “My first visit to Nigeria was in 2010, when I was barely 13 years. There is an agent in my country who has his representative here in Nigeria. Whenever anyone wants to come to Nigeria, he will contact the agent over there, who will thereafter detail his representative in Nigeria to refer us to any family that needs domestic workers. We pay N15,000 as transport to come to Nigeria.
“The first time I came, I worked as a farmer in a farmland at Ilaro, Ogun State. I was paid N8,000 monthly. I went back to my country in 2012, after I managed to save N30,000, part of which I gave to my mother to boost her vegetable trade.
“I came to Nigeria again in 2014 and worked for one Alhaja in Ojota area of Lagos as a house-help and was paid N9,000. But I left after one year, as Alhaja said she no longer needed a house-help.”
How robbery was planned
He stated that when he got to Benin Republic, some friends and relatives encouraged him to build a house for his mother and siblings since his father could not actualise the dream.
At that point, he said he was brought back to Lagos by one Iya Ajuwon, after paying the usual N15,000. This time around, he worked with one Daisy family in Ojota as a cook.
He reportedly started well until he met one Sunday, from same country, who, according to him, sold the idea of robbing his boss to him.
He said: “Sunday told me to rob my boss after I informed him of my intention to leave because of the poor remuneration which was N11,000.
“On that fateful day, after my boss and his wife left for work, I took the children to school and called Sunday on the phone to come. He came with one Abe who traveled all the way from Cotonou. I entered into my master’s bedroom. I did not break the door because the key was left in the lock. When I got inside, I saw some money on the table. I also broke into his wardrobe and collected the bundles of naira notes I saw. I also collected his laptop. We all left for Cotonou that very day. It was when we got there that I discovered that the money I stole was N350,000.”
He disclosed that his share from the loot was N100,000 and the laptop; Sunday collected N100,000 while Abe took N150,000 as the oldest.
He said he used part of the money on his building project.
Vanguard Metro gathered that he was trailed to his village by the International Police commission, INTERPOL, two months later. But only N20,000 was found on him, while his partners in crime escaped. He was said to have been released on bail, with a promise to pay the balance to the Police at Benin Republic who would hand it over to their counterparts in Nigeria.
Rather than keep to his promise of remitting the money on monthly basis, Kundare reportedly bolted to Nigeria on January 2016 and changed his name to Matthew Ogundare.
He was working for an unsuspecting family when policemen at Ire-Akari Police Post, led by the Officer-in-Charge, Falowo Timothy, a Deputy Superintendent of Police who acted on a tip-off, swooped on him.
Looking remorseful, he said: “Please beg the man I stole his money to do me a favour by allowing me to work and pay him with my monthly salary until the money is complete. Perhaps, if I have gone to school life would not have been difficult for me. And this was because of my father’s death which left us to struggle on our own to feed. I am the only one in Nigeria.”
The case, as gathered, has been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, SCIID, Yaba, where efforts to arrest his accomplices, Sunday and Abe are ongoing.