A suspected cyber fraudster, Precious Mayor, and three accomplices identified as Prince Afam, Israel Simon and Emmanuela Mayor have been arrested for alleged hostage-taking at Oreyo, the Igbogbo area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.
It was gathered that the suspects had accommodated three male adults identified as Ejika Ozor, 22; Emeka Ukegbu, 20; and Solomon Uche, 19, who came from Imo State to learn cyber fraud.
At the commencement of their apprenticeship, the men were locked indoors and given a target to learn and know how to defraud unsuspecting victims.
After failing to get results after some days into their training, the victims were beaten and subjected to different forms of torture every day by their hosts.
Frustrated by the style of learning, the three male adults who had been deprived of stepping out of the house since they arrived devised a means to escape.
A resident in the area said they were apprehended by local vigilantes on Monday, August 25, after being caught scaling the fence of the house where they were held.
He said, “The three boys came to the area about three weeks ago. We rarely see them since they arrived until Monday around 3pm when they were seen climbing the fence from their compound. Some residents who saw them initially thought they were thieves and decided to alert the local security.
“It was when they were arrested and interrogated that we discovered that they have been locked up in the house. Different marks were also seen on their bodies which showed they were severely tortured. The local security later handed them over to the police.”
After taking custody of the victims, a team of policemen stormed the apartment and arrested the four suspects.
A police source who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said, “The four suspects were arrested the following day after the boys were brought to the station. They also confessed to have been punishing the boys in a coordinated manner. One of them beats the boys daily while another person monitors and prevents them from escaping.
“The only female among them is the wife of their leader. One black jacket, one jack knife, some phones, one black pot and items suspected to be charms were recovered from them.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Sp Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development.
“The victims were tortured and deprived of their freedom. The arrested suspects have been moved to the State Criminal Investigation Department,” he said.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.