Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State police command have arrested a member of a syndicate, whose operation centered around using the internet to dupe unsuspecting job seekers and models and also kidnapping of victims.
Crime and Security gathered that the gang used Facebook and other social media accounts of popular Nigerians, including Aliko Dangote and others to lure their victims, before they were kidnapped and ransom paid before their release.
The arrested suspect, Patrick Ifada, was arrested after the operatives stormed the gang’s hideout in Uzoro, Delta State.
The Lagos State police commissioner, Kayode Aderanti, while speaking on the arrest of the suspect, stated that the police were on the trail of other members of the gang and assured that they would be brought to book.
According to him, a member of the gang had opened a Facebook account in the name of the business mogul, Aliko Dangote , where he invited unsuspecting victims and offered them jobs and other endorsement and succeeded in luring a female victim, identified as Miss Sa-adat Usman Bibire to a series of chat sessions online , from where he told her to count herself lucky.
The suspect lied to the victim that she had been selected as a brand ambassador to Dangote noodles, after which he directed her to come over to Warri, in Delta State, for necessary documentations.
On getting to Warri, the victim was kidnapped and her abductor demanded for N20m ransom from her family.
Crime and Security gathered that the gang, while negotiating the ransom, tried to cover any trace of their identity by directing the father of the kidnapped girl to pay the money into an account at a Malaysian bank.
According to the CP, the officer in charge of the Lagos State Special Anti Robbery Squad, Abba Kyari, was able to track the victim who was contacted through the telephone number with which he was negotiating the ransom.
Operatives of SARS thereafter were able to track the suspect to his gang’s hideout in Uzoro community in Delta State where he was arrested. The arrested suspect, while speaking with Crime and Security owned up to being a member of the gang but, however, claimed that he was not the one that posed as Dangote on Facebook but agreed to be privy to the whole arrangement.
The suspect narrated that “My friend met her (the victim) on Facebook and convinced her to come to Delta State as the Dangote Noddles ambassador. This was done so that we can kidnap her and collect money from her family.
“When she got to Delta State, she discovered that everything they were discussing on Facebook were actually lies. At that point, there was no way she could leave. That was how she was kidnapped.”