Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team , IRT, in collaboration with policemen from the Rivers State Police Command have nabbed a kidnap syndicate that specialized in luring unsuspecting victims through Facebook and Whatsapp to their den, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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. It is reported that to get the attention of their victims, they take to their respective Facebook pages posing as foreigners working in multinational oil companies in Rivers State and professing love as well as propose marriage to their Facebook girl friends, all in a bid to cajole them.
Their arrest followed report of kidnapping for ransom and the gang rape of a 27-year-old lady identified simply as Happiness, on August 28, 2021. 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 N5m.
According to Nwaobiri, “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.
It takes time to familiarise with them, say two to three months. Thereafter, we would progress to Whatsapp chats and then telephone calls and when friendship has been established, we will invite them over to the company’s base which is a bush where they would be blind folded and calls put across to their families.
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. We only rape our captives if they don’t cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.“