Yusuf Da-Silva, a phone dealer in the popular computer village, Ikeja, Lagos, who allegedly specialises in buying stolen mobile phones from armed robbers, cultists and pick-pockets operating in Ogun and Lagos States, has confessed that he makes between N25,000 to N30,000 from the business.
It was gathered that the notorious suspect was arrested last week after almost three weeks of relentless manhunt by the Decoy Team of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) over a robbery incident around Ifako-Ijaiye, where mobile phones, laptops and other valuables were carted away at gun point.
Da-Silva, 28, popularly called ‘Da-Gold’ in the Lagos ICT hub, and Ifako Ijaiye, was said to been on the run, after police started crackdown on robbery gangs supplying stolen items to him.
The suspect during interrogation, was also said to have confessed to having links with three-armed robbery gangs, who constantly supplied him with stolen phones and other valuables after their operations.
Some of the armed robbery members, operating at gun point around Fagba, Iju Ishaga, Oke Aro and Ifako areas of Lagos, as confessed to by Da-Silva, include one Abiodun Tajudeen, known as Shalori, Drey, and Moshood Akinwande, also known as Orobo, who rob with a bike.
He also confessed to selling some of the phones in computer village, while he transports some to Kwara, Osun and Oyo States, to make tracking of the items difficult for security operatives.
Tajudeen and Akinwande had sold some phones and other valuables to Da-Silva early this year, which is the cause of his present arrest.
Police investigation further revealed that both Tajudeen and Akinwande are presently in police custody over different robbery incidences.
Also in his confessional Statement, he said “police crack team in Magbon arrested AY’s gang who linked me as the receiver of all their stolen phones and I was arrested. The Police later recovered about seven smart phones from me.”
After the Magbon arrest, “I resulted to wearing hoodie sweatshirts” which I use to disguise to avoid security agents from identifying him as many more investigations has turned its search light on the Ikeja computer Village ‘Big Boy.”
“I have different colours and designs of the hoodie sweatshirt and I often avoid some areas to avoid getting arrested while I continue my business.”
It was disclosed that retails prefer to meet him first so they can buy some of the best phones from him.
He is also feared in Fagba area, where he lives, making it difficult for community members to co-operate with the police.
He added, “I deal in smart phones. I have been a phone technician in Computer Village, Ikeja, since 2012. When I realized that wasn’t yielding enough money, I developed links with network of boys on the streets that gave me steady supply of phones. I wipe or flash them before selling them. I don’t collect their SIMS.
“They bring them to me daily. I get up to six or seven smart phones from them on daily basis and I sell to my customers in Computer Village.”
The sales from those phones fetched me between N25,000 to N30,000 daily. I don’t bother to ask them about how they got the phones because they have told me they were gotten through ‘Stop and Search’, (meaning they robbed their owners to get them).”
“I am not a robber. Face to face, they would confirm to you. I bought the phones from them. I have never followed them to rob. What I do before is internet fraud before I started buying stolen phones from these guys.”