Police bust syndicate luring ladies for kidnapping, rape with online apps

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Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Police operatives in Rivers have arrested three members of a syndicate who specialized in luring young ladies for kidnapping, rape and robbery through the use of online dating apps.

The suspects who were arrested by operatives of the control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) Unit of the Rivers Police Command were identified as Ikechi Promise, Darlington Obi and Nwaobiri, Rivers police command spokesperson, SP Grace Iringe-Koko said in a statement.

According to her, operatives of the command had on January 6 at about 8.30 pm arrested Promise and one Obi in connection with abduction of a 28 years old lady of Okoha Road, Iwofe on December 20, 2022.

She said the lady was lured to Igwurita market junction, kidnapped, and taken to Chokocho Pipeline, in Etche Local Government Area where the members of the kidnapping syndicate raped her and collected her two iPhones and a Samsung phone.

They also collected a ransom of N600, 0000.00 from her relatives before she was released on December 21,2022.


“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 kidnapping syndicate, Promise Nwaobiri, 32, was tracked and arrested at Choba Area of Port Harcourt on January 9, 2023 at about 1pm,” the police spokesperson said while assuring that the search for the fleeing members of gang suspects is ongoing.

However, the police spokesperson warned that the Command has observed that in recent times, there have been several reports of girls being lured through phones and kidnapped. Therefore, the Command advises that girls should be wary of relationships on social media that would warrant their travelling to meet people they have not physically seen or met before.

“While painstaking effort is being deployed to ensure the above, members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police at the following emergency numbers: 08039213071, 08098880134,” Iringe-Koko advised.