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  • There we received professional training – Kingpins
  • All the black spots are being monitored – Police

A recreational field provided by the Lagos State Government to keep the youth busy and away from criminal activities has become the breeding ground for armed robbers, The Point ’s investigations have revealed. In view of this, police detectives, drawn from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, have been ordered to maintain 24-hour surveillance on the entire community, with a view to fishing out criminals.

In particular, the CIB operatives are expected to gather both overt and covert intelligence reports to unmask the miscreants and their mode of operations.

Inside sources told The Point that the specially trained detectives had, since their resumption at the desigboth Lagos and Ogun states, especially the robbers identified as the ‘One million boys’ robbery squad.

“You can now see our patrol vehicles everywhere. We have other batches at Badagry, Agbara and Lusada. We are all out to hunt down criminals and their sponsors,” he said.

THE HEROES, THE CRIMINALS

The Maracana field was actually established over 30 years ago by the civilian Lagos State Government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, with the sole aim of engaging youths in all forms of sporting activities, particularly football.

The field had led to the discovery of international stars like Emmanuel Amunike, Kanu Nwankwo, Samson Siasia, Philip Emeka Njoku, and Sam Idiye, among others.

Unfortunately, the field, which produced these international stars, nated places, been making use of paid informants, interviewing community leaders and poring through past criminal records to achieve the desired results.

Many of those interviewed by detectives were said to have identified the Maracana field as the spot where criminals assembled to carry out their nefarious activities.

“It was because of several reports, which included field interviews, that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, directed the police leadership to do something fast about the nocturnal activities of the criminals, especially armed robbers,” a source explained.

A highly placed police officer attached to the Force Headquarters, Shagari Way, Louis Edet House, Abuja, had earlier hinted our correspondent that the police high command was unhappy with reports that criminals had been having a field day in some communities in has also produced criminals such as Tony Montana, who was later arrested by SARS operatives, led by Taiwo Lakano, a Deputy Superintendent of Police at the time.

According to an intelligence report, exclusively obtained by our correspondent, h is arrest took place at a very popular hotel around Ojuelegba, following a tip-off. Tony, as he was popularly known, confessed that he learned the ‘art’ at the Maracana playing ground.

“I am a professional,” he boasted before his captors. Tony had jumped from a three-storey building, where he was relaxing with a woman of easy virtue when he heard a rude knock on his hotel room door. Unfortunately, he jumped into the waiting hands of security operatives. Another notorious armed robber, Lamidi Oluwo, who was later arrested, also said that he had learnt his ‘trade’ at Maracana.

Oluwo, who was a Lagos Islandbased socialite before the law caught up with him, specialised in car hijacking and his preferred brand was the Volkswagen Passat.

The end of the road came for him following the disappearance of a police sergeant who lived in the same building with him at the Tinubu area of Lagos Island.

Painstaking investigation led to the arrest of Oluwo, as the lifeless body of the sergeant, described by his colleagues as ‘never absent from duty’ was later discovered floating on the Osa River. Post–mortem examination conducted on the deceased officer revealed that he was strangled to death. While confessing to the crime,

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