By Augustine Ehikioya
Police officials in Rivers State have bursted a kidnapping syndicate who specializes on luring their preys online.
They posed as prospective lover to the opposite sex only to kidnap, rape and dispossess them of their valuable items when they meet physically.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Police Command, SP. Grace Iringe-Koko. It was made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
It said “Operatives of the c4i Intelligence Unit, on 06/01/23 at about 2030hrs arrested one Ikechi Promise ‘M’ aged 30yrs, a native of Akwu Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, and one Darlington Obi ‘M’ aged 35yrs, a native of Ikem Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“Their arrest is linked to their recent operation, which occurred on December 20, 2022, around 1945hrs, when a 28yrs Lady of Okoha Road, Iwofe, Port Harcourt, was lured down to Igwurita market junction, kidnapped, and taken to Chokocho Pipeline, where the same kidnapping syndicate raped her and collected her two iPhones and a Samsung phone.
“The kidnappers later collected a ransom of Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600, 0000.00) from the victims’ relatives before she was released on 21/12/2022.
“The suspects confessed that their modus operandi is to lure girls out through chats on Tinder for Relationships, a popular social media platform.
“Based on relentless follow-up, the gang leader of the kidnapping syndicate, Promise Nwaobiri ‘M,’ 32, was tracked and arrested at Choba Area of Port Harcourt on 09/01/2023 at about 1300hrs.”
The search for and arrest of the fleeing suspects, the statement said, is in top gear.
It added “In recent times there have been several reports of girls being lured through phones and kidnapped. Therefore, the Command advises that girls should be wary of relationships on social media that would warrant their travelling to meet people they have not physically seen or met before.
“While painstaking effort is being deployed to ensure the above, members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Police at the following emergency numbers: 08039213071, 08098880134,” it said.