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Rivers police nab online romance syndicate for kidnapping, rape

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
19 January 2023   |   4:00 am
Operatives of the c4i Intelligence Unit of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested three suspects, who specialise in luring young ladies on dating sites and kidnap them for ransom.

Suspects

Operatives of the c4i Intelligence Unit of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested three suspects, who specialise in luring young ladies on dating sites and kidnap them for ransom.

The Police said its operatives on January 6, arrested one Ikechi Promise ‘M’ aged 30, who is a native of Akwu Community in Etche local council and Darlington Obi, ‘M’ aged 35, a native of Ikem Community in Etche local council.

The spokesperson of the Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, said the arrest was linked to the suspects’ recent operation, which occurred on December 20, 2022, around 7:45 p.m., when a 28-year-old-lady, who lives along Okoha Road, Iwofe in Port Harcourt was lured down to Igwurita market junction, kidnapped and taken to Chokocho Pipeline, where the kidnap syndicate raped her and collected two iPhones and a Samsung phone from her.

Iringe-Koko said the kidnappers later collected a ransom of N600, 0000 from the victims’ relatives before she was released on December 21, 2022.

She said: “The suspects confessed that their modus operandi is to lure girls out through chats on Tinder for Relationships, a popular social media platform.

“Based on relentless follow-up, the gang leader of the kidnap syndicate, Promise Nwaobiri ‘M,’ 32, was tracked and arrested at Choba Area of Port Harcourt on 09/01/2023 at about 1300hrs.”

She, however, advised ladies to be wary of relationships on social media that would warrant their travelling to meet people they have not physically seen or met before.

She assured that efforts are on to arrest fleeing suspects.

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