Luck has ran out on the leader of a notorious kidnapper who uses social media to fish out rich victims after he was caught by men of the Abia State Police Command.
The criminal was paraded at the police headquarters, Umuahia by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade, who said a victim, Anumba Ozoemelam, on August 11, reported at the Central Police Station in Aba that he met one Johnson on social media, and after chatting for a few days, the said Johnson invited him to a birthday party.
“The suspect gave his target the description to the venue of the party at No 24, Ibegbulam Street, Omuma Road, Aba, while saying on getting to the junction of the street, he would send a tricycle to pick him up.
“On August 10, the victim, unaware of the plan of the suspect and his gang, went for the party, and on getting to the junction, a tricycle was sent to pick him up.
“However, instead of a party, the victim was driven to a house where he was stripped and thoroughly beaten up. One of the gang members also stripped himself n*ked and a mobile phone was used to record them, thereby making it look as if they were involved in homosexuality. The intention was to blackmail the victim.
“The victim’s mobile phone was used to call his elder brother, demanding a ransom of N5 million before he would be released.
“After recording the victim, the gang also took him to his house, where his room was ransacked, and N10,000 was stolen there.
“The suspect was, however, lucky when he managed to escape at midnight when the gang members had slept off in their den.
“He then made his way to the police, where he reported the incident, and without delay, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the Central Police Station, swung into action, arresting one Prince Agorom, who is the leader of the gang the following day.
“The suspect confessed to the crime, while saying he was the leader of the four-man syndicate that specialised in luring people through social media as targets.
“As soon as investigation was completed on the case, the suspect would be charged to court,” Oyebade said, while urging residents of the state not to trust anyone they meet on social media.”
According to Tribune, while confessing in an interview, Agorom (24), from Ebonyi State said: “My friend, Johnson, whom I knew through a church member, brought him to my house. I met Johnson and the complainant naked in my room. My church member started recording him naked with his phone.
“Johnson accused him of homosexuality and said he was going to hand him over to the police, but he started crying and pleading, saying that he was an orphan. I begged them not to take him to the police station. Johnson later said that he would post the recorded video on the internet and the man pleaded against it, saying he would give us money for him not to be exposed.
“He said they should follow him to his house, promising to give them money. When we got there, he sought for money from his neighbours but could not get. In his room, Johnson saw a bag which the complainant said belonged to him. When he searched it, he saw N1,500 and we used that as transport fare back to my house. He told Johnson to come back on September, with a promise to give him N15,000.”