The Dangote Group of Companies Plc has declared 285 truck drivers wanted over the theft of about 3.5 million customised tires of the company.

The Coordinator of the company’s National Patrol Unit, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, a retired Commissioner of Police, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Sunday in Lokoja.

Magaji said each tire of the company had an identification number and the number was registered against the driver’s name at the collection point.

”Already, 285 drivers identified to have collected 285 tires have been declared wanted while a number of others are on the run.

”Already, we have stopped their salaries and we are looking for them. So far, about 3.5 million tires are missing from the company and we believe they are in circulation within and outside the country. We are determined to recover them.

”We are appealing to those patronising the drivers and who encouraged them to steal our tires to stop forthwith. Dangote tires are customised and marked. Dealers and vulcanisers should please beware.

”People should ensure that the tires they buy either as new or second hand are not customised Dangote tires. We have arraigned some drivers and dealers caught with tires and efforts are being made to arrest vulcanisers involved,” he said.

According to Magaji, security agents are presently on the trail of an identified kingpin who comes to Obajana and Kano to buy the tires of the drivers.

“Our appeal to vulcanizers is to always look out for our logo on the tires and report accordingly,” the coordinator said.

He said that the president of the group of companies, Dr Aliko Dangote, had expressed concern over the incident, adding that the company was trying by all means to stop the ugly development.

The former commissioner of police appealed to those in custody of the tires to return them “quietly”, either to the company or to the nearest police station to avoid unpleasant consequences, if caught.

He expressed Dangote’s gratitude to the media for sensitising Nigerians on the zero-tolerance disposition of the management of the company for reckless driving and illegal haulage.

Magaji noted that while illegal haulage had dropped by about 85 percent, accidents involving Dangote vehicles had reduced drastically, adding that a silent revolution was going on in the company’s transport section to sanitise it.

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