Police Move Against Laptop and Phone Thieves at Nigeria’ s Computer Village


For the street urchins and persons bringing in stolen Laptops and GSM handsets for sale in the Computer Village Ikeja , it may not be business as usual again, as the Police post in the market has intensified efforts to arrest culprits.

A close monitoring of market activities last week in Lagos showed that Police Criminal investigate Department, (CID) now move round the market, stopping and searching suspects who carry Laptops and Handsets in their bags either for sale or repair.

The largest African market, the Computer Village, it was learnt, was regarded as the final destination for any stolen GSM handsets or laptops from across the country as a result of market for such products said to be in high demand.

Just last week, a Police Officers were parading the market in search of suspects. But one of the Police Officers who spoke to Vanguard CyberLIFE on the ground of anonymity disclosed that a good number of suspects have been apprehended over stolen Laptops and GSM handsets.

"When we apprehend some of these suspects, we usually ask for the receipt of purchase and all details. At the end of the day, some of the suspects will not come back for further interrogation or collect back the product after thorough investigations meaning that the product may have been stolen. We have had many cases here. We have many exhibits here which are usually returned to the head office.

"We want to make Computer Village the best ICT hub in the West African market. We want to make it a safe place to buy ICT products. We will continue to do this until sanity is restored," he said.

Although selling of stolen items is not limited to Computer Village alone, the Police Officer further disclosed that some of these Laptops and GSM handsets ranges from new ones, fairly used and refurbished."When you see these suspects carrying items in their bags, you may not know that the products were stolen.

"But we will continue to do our work to safeguard this market against stolen products. We will do our best. It is a challenge dealing with it. We deal with other cases but we cannot deal with street traders. That is not our mandate but if the Community Development Association or the Computer vendors in the market ask us do that, we will deal with the issue otherwise, it is not our mandate" he said.