Operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, at the Lagos State police command has re-arrested a 39-year-old man, Hakeem Oguniran, who for the past 11 years, has suc?cessfully defrauded several Nigerians with the use of his special weapon, Raphnor a sleeping tablet.
Embittered but inspired by a past experience, he managed to evade being jailed despite several arrests. He went international when he was alleged to have successfully stolen N10.5 million worth of gold trinket from a Dubai shopping mall. Humbled at the police detention, he told Saturday Sun his life story.
Hakeem claimed that he drew his inspiration from a prostitute who drugged and robbed him in 2003. ?After my secondary education, as an only son, my mother wanted me to travel to Europe in search of greener pastures. My immediate family, friends and relatives raised N800,000 for me. I had already procured my passport, visa and ticket for the trip.
My flight was supposed to be in the morning, so I decided to lodge in a hotel close to the airport. Later in the night, I went to a bar across the road to drink and also look for a woman that will spend the night with me. I later got a lady who refused to spend the night with me but can spare me two hours. We agreed that I would pay her N1000. We moved over to my room and I asked her what she wanted. She said pepper soup. I ordered pepper soup and beer. We got talking and I told her where I was heading to. She later changed her mind that she would spend the entire night with me.?
Hakeem claimed that he developed strong emotions for the lady. ?I left part of my drink in the cup and went to ease myself. Unknown to me, she put some substance in the drink. I drank it and in a matter of five minutes, I slept off.?I woke up late the next morning and discovered that the lady had stolen my passport, money and valuables. I was devastated and above all, I missed my flight. I was so ashamed of myself that I refused to go home again. I later summoned the courage to go to my aunt?s house in Isolo area of Lagos. She advised me to remain where I was as my mother could die of shame. She actually organised a party few days before my departure.?
Stranded in Lagos, Hakeen was able to get a job as a bus conductor. ?One evening, I went out to drink at a bar at Agege. The guys, who were sitting close to me were complaining about a girl who they said had been collecting their money without giving them her body. The girl came and few minutes after sipping the drink that she was offered, then she slept off. One of them carried her into the car while the others were smiling. I vividly recalled what happened to me in 2003 and approached those boys. I begged till they told me that they used a sleeping pill called Raphnor to sedate her,? Hakeem said.
Hakeem admitted that he was so excited when he discovered one of the simplest ways to rob without any form of violence. ?Initially, I was in doubt of the potency of the drug, so I decided to try it out on my girlfriend. I did and she slept off. I also consulted with my friend who is a lawyer; he was the one who told me that it is a bailable offence.
?My target was women whom I can easily lure to a place and either have free sex with them while they sleep or I will steal from them. I am a wonderful dresser and no woman can resist me. I was able to save money from my proceeds and bought a clean car. The car enabled me to have access to the bigger ladies whose jewellery are normally gold. I had been lucky that I stole a golden trinket belonging to a lady and at the end of the day sold it for N1.2million. This breakthrough encouraged me to go for jewellery,? he recalled.
He claimed that he gets his victims from clubs, wedding ceremonies, other social events and most especially churches or mosques. ?If you visit any Muslim gathering where the elites gather, you will have several options. Their women are always dressed with golden trinkets. I also successfully ripped off the wife of one Alhaji in Kwara State. The woman, who complained bitterly that her husband was very old, arranged and I met her at her private residence. It was very easy to drug her, and pack all the golden trinkets on her body and in the house; she had so many of it.
?I relocated to Port Harcourt and spent two years doing the same thing. I would only come to Lagos to see my wife and child,? Hakeen said.
Still not satisfied, Hakeem sought a bigger deal, hoping to get contact to travel to Europe. ?My plans to travel abroad were no longer to work but to do one or two jobs with my secret weapon and return home. I knew that the currency and quality might give me a break. ?Months after I returned from PH, I still needed money. I had gone to a club in Lekki, and was still watching out for a possible target when I heard some Igbo boys who just came back from Dubai, discussing the best way to make quick money. One of them suggested that they are looking for any sharp guy that can serve as a drug courier. I quickly approached them and offered them my own skills. I told them that if they can take me into the country, that I will help them to steal gold,? he said.
Sometime in January, 2014, Hakeem travelled to Dubai on the invitation of his new found friends. From the airport to the place that he stayed, Hakeem discovered that there were cameras everywhere. ?I was told in Nigeria that security is very tight in Dubai and if caught, I would end up in jail. I was also told that stealing is not bailable in that country. Later in the evening, we went to the biggest mall and also an area in Abu Dhabi where golden trinkets are sold. All I did that day from morning to night was to observe. I realised that there was a coffee dispensing jug on their various tables. People come at will to pour from the jug. I also observed that the particular time that they normally visit the mosque for prayer. Once the time comes, they will all rush out and the customers must wait till they are done.
?The next day I dressed as a Muslim, I entered the shop about 10 minutes to that time. I got a cup of coffee, placed it on the table where a staff of the jewellery shop also had his own cup of coffee. I distracted him while I sprinkled the drugs into his cup. I couldn?t have been detected because everyone was moving out of the shop since the time for prayers was close by. I pretended that I was also leaving but waiting to collect my jewellery which the guy who was my target was trying to wrap. In less than two minutes, he slumped and I quickly took a pack of the jewellery and walked out of the shop into the waiting car of those guys. I was told that the gold is worth about N10.5million.?It was very easy and I returned to Lagos two days later to sell the gold. My share from the deal was N4.8million. I couldn?t sell it in Dubai so that they will not trace the source,? Hakeem narrated.
On his arrest, Saturday Sun learnt that Hakeem went back to the same trade a month after he returned to Nigeria. He was alleged to have lured two women whom he was taking to Dubai to shop. He assisted them to process their visa, tickets and buy dollars. He advised them to sleep in a hotel close to the airport. Later in the night, he visited them in their room under the pretext that he wanted to discuss details of the visit with them. The ladies, who were apparently happy that he was assisting them, offered him a drink. While they were drinking together, he dropped the tablet in their glass and they slept off. Hakeem stole all- from their trinkets to the cash found with them. The next day when the ladies realised their folly, they petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko who ordered that Hakeem should be fished out.Detectives led by the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari tracked him down in Abeokuta where he had since relocated. On realising that his visitors were familiar faces from the police, he took to his heels but was later apprehended.