Lagos — Scores of vandals also known as "wharf rats" have resurfaced at the Tin-Can Port Complex in Lagos, clearing agents have said.
The vandals are said to hang around areas where imported cars are parked at the terminals. The agents said the vandals work as a team to remove vehicle parts like side-mirrors, headlamps, brain-box, among other components, in spite of the present of security operatives.
Abdul Sabaru, a Customs agent said not all those seen at the terminals were clearing agents. "Operators as well as officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should beef up security because it is becoming an embarrassing situation," he advised. A vehicle importer, David Okanlawon, said his imported vehicle of March 2020 was pilfered inside the PTML terminal.
Public Relations Officer, PTML Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Ayo Sulaiman, confirmed this. "The wharf rats that were once defeated at the seaports have returned. We are currently collating the lists of burgled vehicles to present to Grimaldi shipping, operator of the PTML Terminal because this has to stop," Sulaiman said.
Managing Director of PTML terminal, Mr. Ascanio Russo said over 10,000 vehicles were being received. "We believe we offer superior service to our clients. At the same time we cannot exclude that in some rare occasions, some pilferage may happen. In such cases, we always indemnify our customers once it is proven that the pilferage happened when the vehicle is in our care," Russo said.