Cameroon Tribune | The group known as the ‘Cartel’ goes around town dispossessing people of their money and other valuables.
Bandits are full of creativity when it comes to dispossessing people of their valuables. A new form of banditry has emerged in Douala with young men dressed in sports wear under the guise of jogging, attack people and dispossess them of their belongings.
The group of bandits is usually made of 20 or 30 people, who roam the streets especially very early in the morning, pretending to be jogging and when they find a victim, they surround him or her and surrender the person with a weapon which could be a knife, a machete or gun and ask the person to give all the valuables in their possession.
The group now commonly referred to as the ‘Cartel’ usually targets money, jewellery, mobile phones and mobile phone accounts as they force the victim to give them the code of their phone to enable them withdraw the money in their account.
The Cartel has been known to even target people in a taxi as their dressing in sportswear doesn’t attract attention and enables them to run away after committing the offence. Reports reaching us say the “Cartel” is operating around Bali, New Bell, Carrefour Agip, near Mboppi, Akwa and Bepanda, Rue des palmiers Bonapriso neighbourhoods in Douala.
The actions of the Cartel is the talk in town as it has created a psychosis of fear among the city dwellers. It has become so serious an issue that it came up during the recent security and coordination meeting of security and administrative services of the Littoral Region with Governor Ivaha Diboua promising to track down the criminals.
“No one can terrorise people in the quarters in Douala claiming to be a ‘grand bandit’,” he said adding that the security forces will track them down. The emergence of the Cartel denotes the existence of organised crime in Douala as the group has a leader who dishes out instructions and probably shares the booty. It is worthy to mention banditry is so commonplace in Douala that thieves don’t even care to hide to carry out their misdeeds.
The cartels operate in broad day light. In a related happening, thieves take advantage of the heavy traffic jam which usually occurs along the road between Rond Point Deido and Rond Point 4e to offload things from heavy duty trucks under the watchful eyes of the public who show sheer indifference. Hence the need for a moral armament in Cameroon.