Tangle (Episode 13)
Malik tried all he could to settle the problem but his effort yielded nothing. He had to write a cheque of a fat amount of money to bail himself and Peter out, but as for the truck and its content, they made it clear to him that it has been impounded.
Malik got home late afternoon feeling very tired and exhausted. The look on his face was enough to tell his friend that all didn’t go well.
‘What happened? Hope nothing went wrong with the distribution?’ Jeff inquired.
‘You can’t believe it, we ran into those stupid roadside policemen and they arrested us’ Malik answered.
‘Arrested you? Base on what? Did they see the consignment?’ He asked again.
‘They said our truck ran away from the custom carrying contraband goods days ago and since then it has been on the wanted list’ Malik explained.
‘But we never had an encounter with any customs agent’ Jeff said still amazed.
‘I suspect a foul play here; I will go back to the station after relaxing and having lunch. I must make sure our goods leave the station today’ Malik answered.
‘We have to get it out before the cops discover the true identity of our product. I must come with you this time’ Jeff said.
‘But you aren’t fully recovered yet’ Malik replied.
‘I insist I go with you, If this deal got bad you know it’s both our asses on the line’ Jeff muttered.
After a few moments, both guys head out to the police station with every legal weapon they have, well determined to get their goods out by all means. On getting to the police station, they went straight to see the D.P.O. After spending a few minutes with him, they realized that the case is no longer with the police and their truck has been taking away by the custom. They begged him to give them the name and number of the customs officer in charge of the case, which he eventually gave them after a small tip. As suspected, there was indeed a foul play. Captain Thomas Bakare is the man behind all the action, a man who was on their monthly payroll a few years ago until they cut him off due to a misunderstanding they had, now he is keen on having his revenge.
‘What do we do now?’ Malik asked after they left the police station.
‘We have to go see that bastard. It seems he is now hungry, am sure he would release our goods after we grease his palm’ Jeffery assured and they proceeded on their way to see Captain Thomas. They drove their car into the custom’s headquarter where Captain Thomas office was sited. He was a high ranked custom officer which made the guys formed an alliance with him. He gave them safe passage through the border and they, in turn, pumped cash into his bank account. Their friendship ended when he seized their goods and demanded a huge ransom from them, which they paid before they severed all ties they had with him and find another means of importing their goods.
The door to Captain Thomas’ office opened and the two friends stepped in.
The captain, a man in his early forties sat down reading a document with the help of his eyeglasses.
‘Hello guys, it’s nice seeing you again’ he greeted with a smile.
‘You son of a bitch, how dare you to seize our goods’ Jeffery said angrily.
‘Oh Jeff, don’t be so rude? Come have a sit and let’s talk like gentlemen’ Captain said making a gesture for them to sit down.
‘First, you guys have to understand something, am not the one who seized your goods, it’s the law. Am just an employer with no choice than to do the job given to me’ Thomas explained.
‘Let’s cut the crap Captain, how much do you want this time?’ Malik asked frankly.
Malik’s question made Thomas burst into laughter.
‘What can I possibly want from you people? I have no right to demand anything from you guys, I am well paid by the government I work for’ Thomas replied.
‘State your price Captain and let us take our goods home’ Jeff said angrily.
‘Sorry guys, no matter how much you pay, your goods aren’t getting out of here. It’s gone just forget about it and move on with your life’ He confessed.
They begged Captain Thomas with an enticing sum of money but he turned deaf ears to their pleas. They left his office and head home with disappointment.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi Komolafe