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Devil led us to rob a church —Suspects •UNODC set to foil $870bn crime business
CHURCH is a sacred place of worship to Christians where they believe the devil and his lieutenants are cast away. But when men of the underworld now say the same devil led them to rob a church, the story becomes something else.
Such was the case of Ojo Oladipupo, a former security guard of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oke-Ibukun, along Felele Straight, Ibadan, who connived with a friend, Lukman Kehinde, to rob the house of God of 10 white plastic chairs, a microphone, and a cooler containing four live cat fish from a near by shop.
Luck however ran out on them as both were arrested by policemen from Felele division.
The suspects informed Crime & Security when they were paraded recently by the Oyo State Police Command at its Eleyele headquarters that they were lured into the operation by the devil.
Kehinde, auto-electrician, disclosed that when they needed money, his friend, Oladipupo who had worked as a security guard in the church told him about some abandoned chairs at the back of the church, when he asked from him what they could turn into cash on that particular day.
He said “We were broke because we needed some amount of money for some things, I asked my friend that what could we turn into cash around here and he told me of a set of chairs at the back of the church and gave information that the security around the place could disturb the operation but I told him not to worry that I knew how to go about it.
"So, we decided to play draught game till late when most people would have gone home. We only picked five pieces of chairs each making it 10 pieces before we were rounded up by the police. Devil pushed us into it, we're not armed robbers,” Kehinde said.
For Oladipupo who left the church as a security guard, he could not summon courage to speak on what led him and his best friend, Kehinde, who operates as an Okada rider to rob the church. All he was able to stammer was, "Yes, we robbed the church of 10 plastic chairs. I had worked there before as a security man, so I knew that these chairs were kept in that place. It was not intentional but devil lured us into it."
Speaking on their arrest, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Clement Adoda, said the suspects failed to give proper explanation on how they came about the chairs and microphone when officers from Felele division arrested them few minutes after leaving the scene of robbery.
According to him, "the policemen of Felele Division swung into action following a distress call from the control room and accosted two suspects with 10 white plastic chairs, a microphone, and a cooler containing four live cat fish. When interrogated, they could not give satisfactory account of how they came in possession of the items.
"However, investigation revealed that Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Ibukun, along Felele straight was burgled and the items found with the culprits belonged to the church. Meanwhile, the cooler containing the live fish was discovered to have been stolen from a shop beside the said church."
He said the suspects would soon be charged to court.
Meanwhile, THE United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new global awareness-raising campaign emphasising the size and cost of transnational organised crime throughout the world.
The campaign, which was launched last week, according to UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, illustrates the key financial and social costs of this international problem through a new public service announcement video and dedicated fact sheets for journalists.
With a turnover estimated to be around US$ 870 billion a year, organised criminal networks profit from the sale of illegal goods wherever there is a demand. “These immense illicit funds are worth more than six times the amount of official development assistance, and are comparable to 1.5 per cent of global GDP, or seven per cent of the world's exports of merchandise.
"Transnational organised crime reaches into every region, and every country across the world. Stopping this transnational threat represents one of the international community's greatest global challenges,” he said.
He added that “Crucial to our success is our ability to raise public awareness and generate understanding among key decision and policy makers. I hope that the media will use UNODC's campaign to highlight exactly how criminals undermine societies and cause suffering and pain to individuals and communities."
The campaign, according to UNODC, was being rolled-out through online channels and international broadcasters with an aim to raise awareness of the economic costs and human impact of this threat. By dealing with issues such as human trafficking, the smuggling of migrants, counterfeiting, illicit drugs, environmental crime and illegal arms, it offers an insight into today's core criminal areas.
With an estimated value of US$ 320 billion a year, drug trafficking is the most lucrative form of business for criminals, the UNODC said. At US$ 250 billion a year, counterfeiting is also a very high earner for organised crime groups. Human trafficking brings in about US$ 32 billion annually, while some estimates place the global value of smuggling of migrants at US$ 7 billion per year. The environment is also exploited: trafficking in timber generates revenues of US$ 3.5 billion a year in South-East Asia alone, while elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts from Africa and Asia produces US$ 75 million annually in criminal turnover, he added.
Besides these monetary figures, the human cost associated with transnational organised crime “is also a major concern, with countless lives lost each year. Drug-related health problems and violence, firearm deaths, and the unscrupulous methods and motives of human traffickers and migrant smugglers are all part of this. Millions of victims are affected each year as a result of the activities of organized crime groups, with human trafficking victims alone numbering 2.4 million at any one time,” the UNODC said.
The UNODC-led campaign illustrates that despite being a global threat, the effects of transnational organized crime are felt locally. Crime groups can destabilize countries and entire regions, undermining development assistance in those areas and increasing domestic corruption, extortion, racketeering and violence.
The multi-language campaign consists of a 30- and 60-second Public Service Announcement, a set of posters, a series of fact sheets and various online banners.Share