The police in Lagos have arrested two men for allegedly poisoning a 61-year-old Chinese businessman, Zhang Bofan, and later duping him of N2.5m.
The suspects, Ifeanyi Ndubuisi and Roland Okorie as well as an unidentified woman, allegedly poisoned their victim, who had just imported mobile phone accessories into Nigeria.
The incident occurred on January 23, 2013, a day before Zhang was billed to travel back to China.
Zhang alleged that he fell ill after eating a meal prepared by one of the suspects.
Zhang, who lodged at Kelvinson International Hotel in Ojo area of the state, reportedly fell unconscious after eating the meal and was rushed to a private hospital where he was treated.
The Chinese national said despite his poor state of health, the suspects whom he had a prior business deal with, went to his warehouse at Agric, along Badagry Expressway and started off-loading phone accessories and handkerchiefs stocked in the building.
In the process however, they were accosted by Zhang’s cousin, Wenya Umeh, who raised the alarm and drew the attention of the police.
He said, “I was billed to travel back to China on January 25, 2013 for a business trip and to bring mobile phones and other phone accessories which I deal in but the illness really affected me and I could not go till now.”
According to the police, the suspects, who are planning to flee with the goods, also stole a total sum of N2.5million from Zhang.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko, said the suspects were arrested while planning to move the goods to another place.
However, the suspects said they were business partners with the company Zhang is representing in Nigeria and that the goods in question were sent to Nigeria by the company and they were meant to take the custody of the goods.
Okorie said, “It is a cheap blackmail because we are dealing with the company that sent the goods directly. We called them when Zhang took ill and they instructed us to take custody of the goods, saying if the goods get missing, we would be held responsible. Also, I don’t know anything about money.
“When Zhang took ill, we took him to a hospital and the doctor said he had low sugar. Nobody told us anything about poison. We are surprised they are saying all this because we are into legitimate business with the company that sent Mr. Zhang and we sought their permission before we went into the warehouse to take the goods.”
Photo: Ndubuisi and Okorie
Ndubuisi said, “When Wenya came to the warehouse while we were packing the stocks, she did not listen to us before making spurious allegations that we have come to steal the goods. Immediately she saw us, she started shouting that we are thieves, that she knows Nigerians are bad people and that we wanted to kill her brother".