Federal agents arrested a Southwest Philadelphia man Thursday night and charged him with attempting to transport stolen vehicles to Nigeria.
Olusola "Dutch" Shodiya, of Elmwood Avenue near 73rd, was ordered by a federal magistrate yesterday to be held pending a detention hearing on Feb. 27.
Shodiya's attorney, Brad Shuttleworth, said yesterday he had not seen the complaint and declined comment.
Shodiya is accused of attempting to transport seven stolen vehicles in overseas containers to Nigeria on Dec. 19 and six stolen vehicles to Nigeria on Jan. 19.
According to an affidavit by Mark H. Gilland, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that accompanied the complaint, it appears that at least some of the cars were part of an insurance-fraud scheme in which the owners voluntarily allowed their cars to be stolen so they could make fraudulent insurance claims.
Federal prosecutors said the investigation into Shodiya's activities is continuing.
The stolen vehicles included Toyota Camrys, Honda Accords, Hyundai Sonatas, a Nissan Maxima, a Cadillac Escalade and an Acura CL, most of them 2002-2006 models.
According to Gilland's affidavit, Philadelphia Police Detective John Logan got a tip in August 2005 about stolen vehicles being loaded inside overseas containers for export to Nigeria.
Logan identified two containers and notified federal agents and the containers were returned from Nigeria to the Elizabeth, N.J. seaport, a major container port.
Inside the containers were seven stolen vehicles from Philadelphia and one from Delaware.
Shodiya was arrested by Philadelphia cops Nov. 28 after they observed him and an unidentified black male, who later fled, allegedly loading a stolen Chevy tow truck into an overseas container at 5400 Grays Ferry Ave.
Shodiya told cops the tow truck was being shipped to Nigeria. He was charged with receiving stolen property and released on bail.
The next day Shodiya's accomplice showed up at police headquarters and spilled the beans on Shodiya.
According to the affidavit, the man, Adekunle Michel Cole, said he had loaded vehicles onto overseas containers for Shodiya in August 2005 and November 2006.
A few weeks later the feds got additional information from another cooperator.
On Jan. 12, according to his affidavit, a cooperating defendant working with New Jersey state police told Gilland he had transported two overseas containers from a used-car lot on 61st Street near Passyunk Avenue to the Elizabeth seaport between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3 for Shodiya.