Three suspected kidnappers arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team in Rivers State, confessed they use dating sites in Nigeria to lure their victims.
The suspects – Michael Eneji aka General, 30; Nwachukwu Emeka, 22; and Success Okeke, 27 – were rounded up following the killing of one of their victims, Michael Victor, who reportedly went missing on January 6.
City Round learnt that the IRT operatives led by DCP Abba Kyari began to track the gang after Victor’s family lodged a complaint at the police unit on January 12, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The gang’s modus operandi was to parade themselves as ladies in search of lovers on the dating site and lure their victims to a lonely spot where they would rob them of their valuables.
One AK-47 rifle and three magazines loaded with 18 rounds of live ammunition were said to have been recovered from them.
They also reportedly owned up to killing Victor on the day he was kidnapped and led the operatives to Old Onne Road, Rivers State, where they usually carried out their kidnapping and robbery operations.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area, SP Chukwuma Emeka, reportedly recovered Victor’s corpse and deposited it at Okrika General Hospital Mortuary on January 7, after a case of an abandoned corpse was reported at the station.
In his confession, the ringleader, Eneji, a native of Gakem community in the Bekwara Local Government Area of Cross River State, said he had been into kidnapping and armed robbery since 2011 when he completed his first degree in Business Administration.
He stated that he identified himself as a naval officer to people to cover his tracks, adding that he had earlier been arrested on two occasions for stealing, kidnapping and murder.
He said, “In 2014, I was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder of a victim who was a staff member of an oil company. I was sent to prison but my lawyer got me released in 2015 after eight months in prison. He told me that the judge struck out the case.
“We normally pose as women on dating sites. As soon as we lure our victim, we would arrange a meeting. If the target was stubborn, we would ask the only lady among us to speak with the target. If the man insists on seeing the face of the lady, we go on video chats. We also use a small phone that enables us to change our voice from a man’s voice to a woman’s voice.
“Once I have been able to establish a contact, I would convince them that I would satisfy their sexual urge. Pretending to be a lady, I would tell them to meet me somewhere around Eleme Road. One of my boys, Success, would go there and meet them as my domestic servant and direct them to my house. I would claim that I live in a mansion where I don’t like disturbance to convince them to come.”
He said as the victims approached the phantom mansion, Okeke would lead them to a deserted place where they would lay in ambush dressed in army uniform.