Lagos market where stolen items are sold

Lagos market where stolen items are sold

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Located between Mosalasi and Agege AP area is the sprawling market along the railway line in the Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State. The multi-million naira market is gradually making its way into the Guinness Book of Records, partly because of its notoriety for the sale of stolen items and goods.
The stalls in the market have also become a haven for light-fingered persons and thieves.
A week-long monitoring of activities at the market revealed that stolen goods such as wrist watches, neck lace materials, household utensils and second hand-items that could immediately be exchanged for cash, form the major items being sold in the market operated on a daily basis.
The Point was reliably informed that the police have repeatedly traced items burgled from homes to the market and have even recovered such stolen goods and made arrests of suspects.
According to a source, “Only the gullible usually patronise the market that stretches from the Railway line crossing to the Alade Market area. A valuable item that should ordinarily be worth over N20,000 could be sold for a paltry N5000.”
Explaining how daily transactions are conducted at the market, Mallam Audu Ibrahim, who hails from Yobe State, said, “We normally buy from boys who would bring such items here for sale. The source of such an item has never been a problem to us because a lot of people are hungry and they want to sell their personal belongings.”
Audu told our under-cover correspondent that, “Though we may be suspicious of whatever they bring, we still buy because they are relatively cheaper. From such items, we make big profit.”
The trader, who specialises in the buying and selling of trinkets, said he had never encountered any problem with the police in the course of doing his business.
“I have been doing this business for 11 years. I know my customers very well. If they bring useless items, I pay them useless money too because, I would love to retain them. You see, hunger at times could be the driving force,” he said.
When told that most of the items being sold to them by the “boys” at the market could have been stolen, another trader, Alhaji Kamoru, said, “ I had a case like that before. But I quickly settled myself with the arresting police officer, who said that the goods I bought were stolen from a house in Ikeja.
I paid more than I bargained for”. Investigations further revealed that trading in second-hand items started in the market about 30 years ago.
According to an independent source, ”It all started with mallams selling disused corrugated iron sheets. But when people realised that there was money in the business, it soon become all comers business.
“Few people were involved in the business about 30 years ago. Soon, we started buying other items such as rugs, planks and plastics. But today, it has become a big market.”
Also speaking with our correspondent, Mr. Koleoso Jolly, said that the market had its own nuisance value.
He said, “If you want to buy mattress, all you need do is to go there. You get it very cheap. But at times, the mattress might have been infected with bed bugs, it depends on your luck.
“I know that most of the goods being sold here were stolen, which is why, you have to know who you are dealing with, in the first instance. You know, it takes a thief to identify one. So, if you are buying a “black market”, be ready to take the risks that are usually associated with it.”
However, another trader, Mr. Jude Nwokeafor differed, saying that it would be wrong for anybody to say that all the goods being sold in the market were stolen items. “I sell electronics.
If you want to sell, I will ask for your purchasing receipt, without which I would chase you away like a common criminal. See, it is only in isolated cases that one could buy stolen items like a mobile phone or wrist watches.”
Lagos State Police Command image maker, Superintendent Dolapo Badmos, said she had yet to receive any complaint about illegal business deals at the market in Agege railway line.
“Let me warn people to be very careful of those they do business with. If you buy goods without verification and the bubble finally bursts, the law will not spare you. You will be treated as an accomplice,” she said.

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