Two women, who are members of the terror syndicate specialising in threatening and extorting money from mainly medical doctors in Lagos State, have been arrested by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the state Police Command. The operatives led by RRS Commander, ACP Olatunji Disu, had tracked down the syndicate and were able to arrest two of them, even as they have contacted the International Police (Interpol) to help repatriate the other gang members who fled to Togo. One of the affected medical doctors (name withheld), operating at Idimu area of the state had contacted THISDAY last month in fear, pleading for police protection.
When THISDAY contacted the RRS commander, he admitted that they had already received several complaints from medical doctors and that they were working on cracking the case. Those arrested, Rita Ojobo and Mrs. Emmanuella Ossai, both sisters, along with other gang members, were fond of contacting Nigerian doctors on telephone demanding that they remit certain amount of money into account numbers or risk being kidnapped or murdered. It was gathered that Ojobo, 30, was arrested at Diamond Bank in Onitsha after she went to withdraw some money paid in by one of the victims. But the two sisters denied knowledge of the crime, insisting that their older brother, Kenechi Ojobo, a resident in Togo, who sent their account to the creditors to pay in money, is to blame. They claimed that their brother, a motorcycle parts merchant in Togo, told them that he usually gave relatives of the creditors the CFA (Francs) equivalent of the money paid in.
Ojobo, who was the first to be arrested, said she was invited by her bank that there was an issue with her account, adding that she quickly rushed to the bank only to be arre sted.
According to her, “I do not know anything about threatening people. My brother was the one who called and told me that someone will pay in money to my account that he has given the person’s relation in Togo the equivalent in CFA. He said he would collect the money when he comes and add it to the money to buy his wares.
“But I was just in my house last Thursday when I received a call from the bank that someone has tampered with my account. I rushed to the bank where I was arrested and taken to the Central Police Station in Onitsha. It was at the bank that they told me what happened.
“After they arrested me, I told them that it was the only money paid to my account and that my brother usually used my sister’s account for the transactions and they now took me to my sister’s house and arrested her as well.
“If I knew anything about such thing, would I not have escaped when the bank called me?”
Similarly, Ossai, who was with her one-month-old baby, said about four people have paid N220, 000 into her account at different time which her brother usually came back to collect.
She stated that she only knows he does local money transfer and that each time he came home, he collected his money to buy goods.
The nursing mother said she went to the bank sometime last month after her brother told her that someone had paid N50, 000 into her account but she did not get alert.
She said: “I went to my bank (First Bank) to confirm the payment since it did not reflect in my account balance. So, they told me that there was problem with my account and I asked them for statement of account. I do not know anything about threatening people for money.”