A five man gang, including a woman, have been arrested by the Rivers state police for their involvement in cyber crimes.
The gang have given gory details of how they lure their victims through Badoo, an online dating website. They pose as woman and start a relationship with men, whom they arrange to meet up at a lonely spot, then rob them of their valuables and even kill some.
The suspects, Micheal Eneji, his brother, Emmanuel Eneji, Chukwu Chibueze, Gift Princess, and Lekia Emmaden Isaac, were apprehended by the Rivers State police command days after the family of one of their latest victims, Shola Olaseinde reported the victim missing.
He was later found in a decomposing state in a bush, close to a deserted pipeline area at Eleme, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Few metres away, was also the decomposed body of another victim, who was later identified as Mr. Progress Benin Disi, a staffer of Shell Oil servicing company whose family had also reported missing since March 7, 2014.
On their arrest, the state Commissioner of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin told Saturday Sun that the command acted on the complaint by the family of one of their victims, Shola Olaseinde who got missing on March 26, 2014.
“When his family waited for him and could not reach him, they lodged a complaint and I instructed the officer in charge of anti-kidnapping, CSP Akan to hunt for the missing father and husband.
“Through intelligence gathering, we were able to arrest the gang of four men and a lady. They led us to Ebubu, Eleme, Rivers State, at an abandoned shell pipeline borrow pit where the corpse of Shola was lying in a decomposed state. Few metres away was also the decomposed body of another victim, Mr. Progress Benin Disi, a staffer of Shell Oil servicing company.”
Explaining the gang’s modus operandi, CP Ogunsakin said: “Normally they pose as women on most of these dating sites. As soon as they lure their victim, they would arrange a meeting. The lady’s duty is to meet with the men who are normally very rich. As soon as they get them, she will lure them to a secluded place and alert members of their gang. They will overpower the individual and tie the person up while they withdraw money from his account through ATM.
“I hope that Nigerians will learn a lesson from this and realise that in as much as great and useful information can be got on net, it is also an avenue for fraud.”
At the police station, the leader of the gang, Michael Eneji, a 27-year-old footballer confessed to the crime and said that his gang didn’t know that the late Shola would not be able to escape from the forest after dispossessing him of his valuables.
In his words: “When I couldn’t afford to pay my school fees, I decided to go into love dating scam. I dwell mainly on Badoo chat that most Nigerian men visit regularly. I surf the net and select pictures of black models and impersonate them. As soon as they see this picture, some will send a message and I will reply. They will ask for my number and I will give them. I also have a Tecno phone that has a special voice prompt that allows a man to sound like a woman.
Once I establish a contact, I will go to the next step which is to convince them that I will satisfy their sexual urge.
“Pretending to be a big girl, I will tell them to meet me at a Conoil petrol station, before the trailer park along Eleme road while one of my boys, Chibueze will go there and meet them as my domestic servant and direct them to my house. To convince them to come, I will claim that I live in one of the estates alone and it will be safer to meet there so that they will not be caught.
“In their car, Chibueze will tell them to drive towards a deserted place where we will lay ambush. Dressed in police uniform, we will stop them and demand to know what they are doing in such a deserted place. We will overpower them and tie their hands and legs while we take their valuables, including their ATM cards.
“Two of us will go to the bank and withdraw money from their account through their ATM. If there is no money in the account, we will loosen the rope and disappear. This will enable the person to untie himself and go home.”
According to Eneji, they have fleeced so many men before they were arrested. “I never knew that Mr. Disi and Shola did not escape till I was arrested. I can only recall that both of them had so much money in their accounts, so we decided to keep them for some days to enable us to withdraw enough money from their accounts”, he added.
On how he lured their latest victim, the suspect said: “Shola showed interest in having an affair with the lady he saw on my Badoo display picture. He demanded to see her, so I told him that I am free around 7pm and he told me that it was the perfect time to hang out.
“At about that time, he drove to the spot with his driver and Chibueze, who was on ground, joined him. He directed them to the spot and we took over the car, tied him and the driver up.
He did not have much cash with him unlike the others. When we got to the bank, I realised that he had about N4.5 million in his account. Blindfolded, we took him further into the bush and decided to keep him there for some days to enable us to empty that account while the driver must have escaped from the initial spot where he was tied. Few days later, we were arrested. I never knew that he did not escape alive,” Eneji narrated.
Continuing, he said: “The second victim, Mr Disu was not my contract. It was Elijah the leader of another group that contracted me to help execute the job. I became interested when he told me that the maga (the late Disu) works with Shell company. All I did was to lure him to visit by promising him good sex. I do not know if they killed him because of the huge amount that was found in his account. The truth is that we do not kill, but rob them of their valuables. We will sell the car, withdraw as much as we can from their ATM and disappear. We know that such crime might not be reported because the man will not tell his family or the police why he was robbed to protect his image. It is unfortunate that they died; we left them there still breathing. The only difference is that we did not loosen the rope so that they can easily escape.”
On the role of the lady in their midst, Eneji said: “She is my fiancée and I normally use her to further convince our target to assume that we are real. If the target insists that I should come and see him, I will send my girl to go and meet him. She will be the one that will lure them to the spot where we can take over.”
He also revealed that he is known in Badoo as Cindy and Empress. “Once you search for beautiful models on Google search, you will have so many options. If you want so many toasters, select the ones that expose their breasts. I am terribly sorry that these men died in the process. We found out that it is easier to collect money in exchange for sex.
“I dropped out of school because my rich relatives refused to help my mother to train us. I can only get money from them if I send a woman to go and seduce them. I am terribly sorry.”
Another suspect, Lekia Emmaden Isaac, corroborating Eneji’s story, said that it was his duty to tie victims up. “We have done that severally and when we return, we will realise that they have gone back. I did not kill Mr Shola; all I did was to tighten him up very well so that he will not escape immediately. I was shocked when I heard that he was found dead. It is possible that snake attacked him since he was kept in a deserted area.”
Yet another suspect, Chibueze, 17, who acted as Eneji’s domestic servant, said his duty was just to take the victim to the spot where he will be attacked. “I did not participate in the main robbery; all I did was to take the suspect to the point where he will be robbed. To convince the victim that I am not part of the set-up, they will also beat me up and I will run away. After the operation, they will give me my own share of the loot.”
The only girl in their midst, Gift Princess claimed that her service was only needed if there is need to see the man in question or speak with him further on phone. “During Shola saga, he called requesting that I should direct him. I then told him that my domestic servant will wait for him at the agreed spot. He later called back complaining that he was not comfortable with the route that they passed through. Unfortunately, he was already at the spot and my fiancée, Eneji and others took over from there. I was only helping my husband to raise enough money to pay my bride price,” Gift confessed.