A group of fraudsters impersonating as women on a dating site has allegedly murdered a manager in Shell Development Petroleum Company (SDPC) and a businessman in Rivers State.
The police recovered the lifeless body of the victims in a bush. The deceased manager, Mr. Progress Benin Disi suddenly disappeared on March 7, while the businessman, Shola Olaseinde got missing on March 26.
Initially, police thought it was a kidnap case until information led them to the discovery of a syndicate said to be specialists in luring especially rich people through dating sites with the intention of ripping them off.
The police detective started communication with the gang and were able to capture five including a pregnant woman. The pregnant woman was said to be the bait used by the gang to attract their victims through sweet talks on phone.
The leader of the gang was identified as a 27-year-old Michael Eneji, an old footballer. He denied having knowledge of Olaseinde’s death until he was arrested.
When asked how they lure their victims and kill them, he said: “We will take their ATM cards and go to the bank with the pin number they gave us and begin to withdraw N100, 000 every day until the account is blocked.
“We did not know that Olaseinde and Disi were unable to untie themselves like others before them and escape”.
“When I couldn’t afford to pay my school fees, I decided to go into love dating scam. I dwell mainly on Badoo that many Nigerian men visit regularly.
“I surf the net and select pictures of black models and impersonate them by using them as my own so that the men will think they are dealing with a woman. As soon as they see the picture, some send a message to me and I will respond.
“They will ask for my number and I will give them. I have a Techno phone that has a special voice prompt that allows a man to sound like a woman.
“Once I establish contact, I will go to the next step which is to convince them that I will satisfy their sexual urge. Pretending to be a big girl, I will tell them to meet me at a petrol station on Eleme Road while one of my boys, Chibueze, will go there and meet them as my domestic servant and direct them to my house.
“To convince them to come, I will claim that I live in one of the estates alone and it will be safer to meet there so that they will not be caught by their wives or girlfriends. While in their cars, Chibueze will tell them to drive towards a deserted place where we would lay ambush for them, dressed in police uniforms. We will stop them and demand to know what they are doing in such a deserted place.
“We will overpower them and tie their hands and legs while we take their valuables including their ATM card.
“Two of us will go the bank and withdraw money from their account through their ATM. If there no much money in the account, we will release loosen the rope and disappear this will enable the person to untie himself and go home.”
The leader of the gang, Eneji confessed that they have been defrauding people for long. He added that they decided to keep Olaseinde and Disi for several days to enable them clean their account through the ATM.
On how Olaseinde died, he said: “I told him to come around 7pm and he told me that it was the perfect time to hang out. At about that time, he drove to the spot with his driver and Chibueze who was on ground joined him.
“He directed them to the spot and we took over the car, tied him and his driver up. He did not have much cash with him unlike the others. When we got to the bank, I realized that he had about N4.5million naira in his account.
“Blindfolded, we took him further into the bush and decided to keep there for some days to enable us empty that account. A few days later we were arrested. I never knew that he did not escape.
“The second victim, Mr Disi was not my contract. It was Elijah the leader of another group that contracted me to help execute the job. I became interested when he told me that the maga (late Disi) worked in Shell Petroleum.
“All I did was to lure him to visit by promising him good sex. I do not know if they killed him because of the huge amount that was found in his account. The truth is that we do not kill, but rob them of their valuables. We will sell the car, withdraw as much as we can from their accounts and disappear. We know that such crime might not be reported because the man will not tell his family or the police why he was robbed to protect his image.
“It is unfortunate that they died; they were still breathing when we left them there. The only difference is that we did not loosen the rope so that they could easily escape.”
Disclosing the role of the pregnant woman, Eneji said:“She is my fiancée and I normally use her to further convince our target to assume that we are real. If the target insists that I should come and see him, I will send my girl to go and meet him. She would be the one that will lure them to the spot where we can take over.”
Eneji confessed that his girlfriend goes by the name Cindy and Empress on Badoo. “Once you search for beautiful models on Goggle search, you will have so many options. If you want so many toasters, select the ones that expose their breast. I am terribly sorry that these men died in the process. We found out that it is easier to collect money in exchange for sex. I dropped out of school because my rich relatives refused to help my mother to train us. I can only get money from them if I send a woman to go and seduce them. I am terribly sorry.”
Another member of the gang identified as Lekia Emmaden Isaac said that his own role was to tie their victims. He added that they have done it sevearl times and when they return, they found that the victims have escaped. He said: “I did not kill Olaseinde. All I did was to tie him up very well so that he would not escape immediately. I was shocked when I heard that he was found dead. It is possible that a snake attacked him since he was kept in a deserted area.”
A 17-year-old boy identified as Chibueze said his role was to act as a domestic servant and take his victim to a place where they would be attacked by the other members of the gang.
He said “I did not participate in the main robbery; all I did was to take the suspect to the point where he would be robbed.” Gift Princess, the expectant mother said: “Olaseinde called, requesting that I should direct him. I then told him that my domestic servant would wait for him at the agreed spot.
“He later called back complaining that he was not comfortable with the route that they passed through. Unfortunately, he was already at the spot and my fiancee, Eneji and others took over from there.
“I was only helping my husband to raise enough money to pay for my bride price.”
The State Command Commissioner of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin said detectives swung into action after receiving report from a family member of Olaseinde who they said was being kidnapped.
“When his family waited for him and could not reach him, they lodged a complaint and I instructed the officer in charge of Anti Kidnapping, CSP Akan to hunt for the missing father of two. Through Intelligence gathering, we were able to arrest the gang . They led us to Ebubu, Eleme, in Rivers state at an abandoned Shell pipeline borrowed pit where the corpse of Shola was lying decomposed. Ogunsakin said the suspects posed as women in most of these love dating site. As soon as they lured their victim, they would arrange a meeting. The lady’s duty is to meet with the men who are normally very rich. As soon as they get them, she will lure them to a secluded place and alert members of their gang. They would come and tie the person and then go ahead to withdraw money from his account through ATM”.