We have victims on dating sites, we expropriate money, personal belongings – they reveal the alleged kidnappers
According to a PUNCH report, at least three members of the kidnapping gang were arrested who targeted their targets through dating sites.
They were captured by the Inspector General of the Rivers State Police Intelligence Response Team.
Suspects – Michael Engeji, aka General, 30; Nwachukwu Emeka, 22 years old; and Success Okeke, 27 – were arrested after the murder of one of their victims, Michael Victor, who reportedly went missing on 6 January.
City Round has learned that IRT agents led by DCP Abba Chiari began tracking down the gang after Victor’s family filed a police complaint on January 12, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The gang’s principle of operation was to flaunt themselves as women looking for lovers on a dating site and lure their victims to a secluded place where they stole their valuables.
It is alleged that an AK-47 assault rifle and three magazines with 18 rounds were seized from them.
They also reportedly confessed to killing Victor on the day of his abduction and took the agents to Old Onn Road, Rivers State, where they routinely performed kidnapping and robbery operations.
The police officer in charge of the area, SP Chukwuma Emeka, reportedly found Viktor’s body and placed it in the morgue of Okrika General Hospital on January 7, after the department received reports of the abandoned body.
In his confession, gang leader Eneji, a native of the Gakem community in the Bekwara local government area in Cross River State, said he had been kidnapped and armed robbery since 2011, when he earned his first degree in business economics. …
He said he introduced himself as a naval officer so that people would cover his tracks, adding that he had previously been arrested twice for theft, kidnapping and murder.
He said: “In 2014, I was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murdering a victim who was an employee of an oil company. I was sent to prison, but my lawyer released me in 2015 after eight months in prison. He told me the judge dropped the case.
“We usually pose as women on dating sites. As soon as we lure the victim, we will arrange a meeting. If the target was stubborn, we ask the only woman among us to speak to the lens. If the man insists on seeing the lady’s face, let’s enter the video chat. We also use a small telephone that allows us to change our voice from male to female.
“As soon as I can get in touch, I convinced them that I would satisfy their sexual need. Pretending to be a lady, I asked them to meet me somewhere on Eleme Road. One of my boys, Success, went there, met them as my servant and sent them to my house. I would say that I live in a villa and I don’t like to persuade them. “
He said that when the victims approached the ghost mansion, Okeke would lead them to a deserted place, where they would lie in ambush, dressed in military uniforms.
He added: “We will bind their hands and feet. We collect their valuables, including ATM cards. Emeka was holding an AK-47 in case of an attack while I go to the bank to withdraw what the victims have in their bank accounts.
“My friend Success (Okeke) was chosen as our last victim to get us into trouble. I left our camp with his ATM card as security patrols passed. I was waiting for the password when Abubakar (still a fugitive) called me and said that the man was dead. We all went home, and two days later the police arrested me. “
Okeke, who hails from Anambra state with a degree in microbiology, said unemployment and deprivation forced him to join the gang.
He said that as his first child, he wanted to make money and impress his family, admitting that his role in the gang was to collect victims at an agreed time.
She stated: “I was not told that the victim (Victor) had died until the police arrested me. Michael (Eneji) gave me his number and asked for it. I called him and said that my lady who works for the oil company asked me to take him home. I picked it up at the bus stop near the gas station.
“During the trip, we were stopped by members of our gang in military uniform. It was around 8pm and they asked us why we were passing through this place. They overpowered the man and dragged him into the bushes. I was waiting when I saw a torch from the patrol guards. I ran away and later called Michael, who told me to wait for him somewhere. I was waiting for the cops to arrest me.
Nwachukwu, who owned the AK-47, said he got it from a former militant, adding that he knew Michael as a naval officer and gave him a gun to protect him (Nwachukwu) during his grandfather’s funeral.