The Rivers State Police Command has smashed an online syndicate, which specialises in luring, kidnapping and raping ladies, and collecting ransom from their relatives.
The police said two members of the gang were arrested separately by the police intelligence unit in Igwurita and Choba, Ikwerre and Obio/Akpor local government areas of the state, respectively.
The spokesperson for the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Iringe-Koko said the men, Ikechi Promise and Darlington Obi, lured unsuspecting girls seeking relationships through chats on a popular social media platform, Tinder.
She said luck ran out on them when the same treatment was meted out to a 28-year-old lady, whom they abducted and took to Chokocho, Port Harcourt.
According to the police image maker, the miscreants raped the victim, stole her two iPhones and a Samsung mobile telephone, and collected a ransom of N600,000 from her relatives before releasing her.
The statement read, “Operatives of the c4i Intelligence Unit, on January 6, 2023, around 8.30pm, arrested one Ikechi Promise, 30, and one Darlington Obi, 35.
“Their arrest is linked to their recent operation on December 20, 2022, around 7.45pm, when a 28-year-old lady was lured down to Igwurita Market Junction, kidnapped, and taken to Chokocho Pipeline, where the same kidnapping syndicate raped and collected her two iPhones and a Samsung phone.
“The kidnappers later collected a ransom of N600,000 from her relatives before she was released on December 21, 2022.
“The suspects confessed that their modus operandi was to lure girls out through chats on Tinder for relationships.
“Based on relentless follow-ups, the gang leader of the kidnapping syndicate, Promise Nwaobiri, 32, was tracked and arrested at the Choba area, near Port Harcourt, on January 9, 2023, around 1pm. The search for the fleeing suspects is in top gear.”
The police spokesperson said there was an upsurge in cases of women being lured and kidnapped through social media platforms.
Iringe-Koko advised girls to be wary of relationships on social media that would require them to travel to meet people they had not physically seen or met before.