Monday, 22 November 2021 14:28

Our targets are only females – kidnap suspects who pose as oil workers declare

Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team , IRT led by its Commander, DCP Tunji Disu,  in collaboration with  policemen from the Rivers State Police Command have smashed a kidnap syndicate that specialized in luring unsuspecting victims through Facebook and Whatsapp to their den, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Members of the gang are a group of friends. Their targets are females who are either  beautiful and single or working class ladies. To get their attention, they take to their respective Facebook pages in search of their targets, posing as foreigners working in  multinational oil companies in Rivers State.

To further convince their targets, they display pictures of foreigners on their display pictures, professing love and proposing marriage to their Facebook girl friends , all in a bid to cajole them .

Modus oparandi

The  suspects: Izunna Fidelis, 21; . Humble Unity Okeregwu, 24; Izuchukwu Nwaobiri ,  22 and Chibeze Nwike , 23, were arrested in Choba and Etche areas of Rivers State.

They admitted during interrogation to have kidnapped, tortured, raped, robbed and collected ransoms from at least ten 10 females since January 2021,  with their highest ransom collected pegged  around N5 million.

According to 22-year-old Nwaobiri  who hails from Ikem Community in Etche Local Government Area of  Rivers State, “  The first thing we do is to check Facebook profiles for beautiful girls. Then, we would add them to our friend lists. Each of us works on different persons.

I would start up a conversation with my supposed girl, exchange pleasantries and tell her that I worked with an oil company. I also asked if she was married or single.

“Whoever succeeds in luring a lady, would tell her that his driver would come pick her to the base, from a designated point, because non-staff are not allowed inside the company’s base. The person would send any member of the gang to go pick her. The conversation between the lady and any of us would stop at the point the supposed driver picks her up.

The driver would divert and take her to our den in a bush from where she would be blind folded and calls put across to her family.

“I went for mature working class ladies because they don’t expose everything about themselves.  I started earlier this year because of circumstances. My mum is late, my dad has a stroke and I have been the one catering for everything. I have been involved in seven cases but succeeded in four

“ The first girl stayed for three days, we got N80,000 .  Those we beat were stubborn girls  who tried to raise the alarm. We have just cutlasses.  My duty is to contact victims’ relatives. We keep them safe until their families pay.

“We only rape our captives if they don’t  cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.  Some of them are so stubborn that they would prefer being beaten than asking their families to part with ransom for their release. Most times, we asked them to leave if we didn’t get anything from them”.

For 21-year-old  Fidelis, from Amako community in Etche Local Government Area of River State, he said, “ I only raped the last girl. I am the caregiver. After giving her food on that day, I went home. By the time I came back, she told me Izuna, who was watching over her, had raped her. I also had my turn”.

Others also admitted to have taken turns to rape kidnapped ladies at several times without protection .

Exhibits recovered from the suspects were 26 SIM cards belonging to their victims and a video recording of visibly battered victims from a phone belonging to one of them.


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