Agent who hires housemaids to steal employer’s valuables arrested
Operatives of the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a unit of the state police command have arrested a housemaid agent who specializes in assisting people to get maids with the motive of using them to abscond with money, jewelry and other belongings of their employers.
Francis Okputu, aged 37, a former drycleaner who turned into house-help agent, had been using his influence and that of his wife to bring job-seekers to Lagos to work as housemaids. His mode of operation is to fix them up with a household as domestic servant and collect half of their salary for the first month as commission fee. This he has been doing since 2003.
In his confessional statement with the police, Francis said he helps not less than 15 domestic workers every year get employed and receives half of their salaries as his commission but began to change his tactics after his financial burden rose.
“I have been helping Lagosians get house helps and everybody in my neighborhood knows that is what I do and they also make recommendations and link me with their relatives who need my service. Sometime in May this year, a friend directed one Joy Onoz to me to help her get a housemaid job, which I did and all was fine until the next month when she began to call me that her mistress does not like her and she will like him to help do something about it.”
Francis got to know that Joy’s boss was wealthy, and began to find means of looting the unsuspecting employer. He called Joy one day and told her to steal her madam’s money, jewelry and her picture. He said he would take the picture to a prophetess who will help him bewitch and make her not to question any of the girl’s deed after stealing her things.
Joy while talking to policemen about her agent’s move to loot her employer quickly told her madam of Francis’ plans and they played along with his arrangement. The woman gave Joy some hard currencies and jewelry and her picture and told her to contact Francis that she has successfully gotten some valuables.
Francis unknowingly instructed Joy to meet him at Iyana-Ipaja to handover her loot to him. Officers who had been contacted by the employer swung into action and laid siege for Francis at the agreed location where he was arrested after receiving the loot.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Adamu Muazu, in his reaction directed the transfer of the case to State CID office and advise Lagosians to be conscious of whom they employ as domestic aide to avoid theft of their hard-earned property.