The Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit has arrested and detained 51 individuals who were part of a highway gang known for harassing and extorting truck drivers.
The Public Relations Officer of the agency, Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
Abdulraheem disclosed that the suspects were arrested during special operations along the Apapa-Oshodi and Lagos-Badagry Expressway by the agency on Monday.
He stated that the group allegedly used aggressive tactics to coerce truck drivers into giving them money, claiming to work for the defunct Lagos State Parks and Garages Agency.
The spokesperson noted that the gang had been accused of engaging in violent and coercive behaviour, which included inflicting harm on drivers and committing acts of intimidation when faced with resistance.
“We have been on the trail of this gang for a while after receiving several complaints from road users who ply the corridors.
“We even heard of instances of drivers who refused to comply and later faced violent threats, including the removal of essential truck components such as batteries and mirrors right on the expressway”, he said.
The spokesperson condemned the manner in which the suspects cause unnecessary havoc on highways in the name of parks and garages, particularly in light of the ban on the agency’s operations announced in 2023.
Abdulraheem said the swift action taken by the taskforce underscored the seriousness of the situation and the commitment to curbing such illicit practices.
He added that the remaining 43 pleaded not guilty and their hearing had been adjourned till March 1.