One 50-year-old suspect, Ramoni Adeleke has been apprehended by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command for fraud.
The suspect had shaved off his beard to avoid being recognised by people who knew him as a cleric.
Members of his gang where also arrested, they included 70- year-old Alhaji Lekan Lanlegu a.k.a. Baba Toyota and 60-year-old Kolawole Odenide.
One police source said that the three were picked up after Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Kayode Aderanti, was informed that they were involved in robbery and receiving of stolen cars.
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The police disguised as car thieves arrested the three after pretending to sell a stolen car to the gang.
One of the men entered into negotiation with the SARS operatives before he realised that they were policemen.
Meanwhile unknown to the fraudsters, the police had cornered the area and immediately arrested the men.
Lanlegu then snitched on Kolawole Odenide, who supplied him with a stolen car.
This led to the arrest of Adeleke at a private mosque he used as an office to dupe people and receive stolen cars. A cleric he was said to have employed to teach people in the mosque and lead prayers was said to have scaled the fence and ran away on sighting policemen.
Adeleke revealed he hailed from Ade village, Ade South Local Government Area, Osun State, said he was a transporter. He said he built a mosque and employed an alfa (Islamic cleric) to manage it.
The end of year months, popurlarly called ember months are dangerous in Nigeria due to the massive increase in crime, but the Lagos state police have been hunting down illegals in all areas of the state.