By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia
Over 40 youths suspected to be from the northern part of the country who were stowed away in a Dangote truck were intercepted at the Umudike Junction of Aba Road, Umuahia, Wednesday, by operatives of the Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State, TIMAAS.
Vanguard gathered that TIMAAS operatives in the area received intelligence that a Dangote truck carrying the youths was approaching the area from the Akwa Ibom State axis of the border and mounted surveillance.
On sighting the truck, the officers flagged it down and inquired from the driver what he was carrying. The driver responded that the truck was empty but when the officials climbed the truck, they discovered over 40 northern youths lying on the floor of the enclosed cargo space of the truck and invited policemen to arrest them.
The truck and its human cargo were taken to the office of the State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Janet Agbede, who interrogated the driver and the stowaways and directed policemen to escort them back to Akwa Ibom end of the border from where they entered the State.
Speaking to journalists on the development, the Commissioner for Homeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli, warned that trucks carrying human cargoes to and through the state will be decisively dealt with in line with the directive from the federal government ban on interstate movement except those on essential duties.
He called on all neighbouring states to strengthen surveillance and enforcement of the restrictions on inter-state movements at their various borders to help control the spread of COVID-19 from state to state.