#BounceExclusive: Flood Pushes Armed Robbers With POS To Yenagoa
One Chance robbers with POS machines are operating in Bayelsa and residents in the state capital, Yenagoa are apprehensive.
The flooding issue in the southern Nigeria coastal state has unleashed gangs of robbers who have had to flee their hideouts.
Several communities have been sacked by flood waters and hoodlums residing in the rural areas have relocated to town.
In Yenagoa, armed robbery have taken a new dimension, with a new tactic introduced. It brings to mind fear and uneasiness that could kill the spirit of a hustler.
The day begins like every other day, but very few could tell if it would be their turn or not.
Businesses activities are booming in the oil state and combi buses commute residents from one location to another.
But recently, that ride has become a nightmare for people who use it. On one occasion, a 35-year-old-man was almost killed.
It was a incident that occurred opposite Edepie Community Primary School which startled shop owners as well as motorists.
Those who thought it was a kidnap, ran into School Road for safety while others watched from a distance.
Sharing their experiences with Bounce News the eyewitnesses said the small bus was moving on high speed. Suddenly, the door swung open and a man fell on the tarred road, rolling like a ball.
The young man lay still for minutes.
Some passers-by walked towards him but out of fear, refused to touch him.
Thank God he did not die, as he slowly regained consciousness.
The man, who was later identified as Chukuma Onwazi, told Bounce News that "the robbers carry POS with them and board small buses plying Mbiama-Yenagoa Road".
"Acting as passengers, they surrender unsuspecting passengers inside the bus with a small gun.
"Order those with ATM cards to transfer all the money in their bank accounts through the POS machine, into theirs. If passenger had no ATM card, they search and dispossess them of all they have.
"I withdrew the sum of 116,000 Naira for my house rent, since my landlord wanted cash payment.
”I was the first passenger before two mean looking boys with scars on their faces joined me at Ekeki junction," he explained.
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When he was no longer comfortable in the vehicle, he told the driver to stop. It was at that time that one of the hoodlums, surrendered him with a pistol while another one searched and dispossessed him of his house rent.
He was further instructed to transfer all the money in his bank account into theirs with the help of a POS machine.
While that was happening, it the driver of the bus was threatened not to stop or carry any other passenger else, he will be shot.
"They usually rob and push their victims out of the moving vehicle," the victim, who sustained bruises on his right arm and legs, explained.
'A Young Girl Pointed Gun'
A tricycle operator, Mr Paki Desmond, also confirmed that he had been robbed in one of those buses.
He said the incident took place few weeks ago at Amarata.
" We were six passengers.
"It was a young girl that pointed a gun at us while two boys searched our pockets.
Mr Paki also revealed that they were pushed out of the moving bus at Akenfa III.
Another resident of Bayelsa, Mrs Juliet Ekpo, an expert in wast recycling, said she was almost raped inside the bus.
"I was the only passenger until a boy and two girls came in at Biogbolo.
"They made eye contact with each other and held me while the boy tried to rape me.
" I started shouting and was thrown out of the moving bus with my torn skirt.
These style of robbery is popularly known as 'one chance'.
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The robbers disguise as passengers. They commence operation immediately other passengers join them by first, shutting the door and windows.
Passengers are threatened, surrendered with a gun, searched and dispossessed of all their belongings.
Once the vehicle gets to a less busy area, their victims are thrown out of the moving bus.
A police officer, who would not want his name mentioned, told Bounce News that the police had an idea of who the robbers were.
"If we arrest them, their godfather's will ask for their immediate release.
"It makes our work as security agents frustrating," he complained.
Consequently, the victims are of the opinion that the robbers are in cohort with some of the drivers, as the threat of being shot could be a way of making passengers feel the driver was not with them. .
Residents of Yenagoa call on security agents to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of this increasing style of robbery, as it would serve as a deterrent to others.
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