By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday arrested one Michael Atanda, for blackmailing four ladies with their nude pictures.
The 35-year-old suspect was said to have threatened to send the nude pictures of the ladies to the social media platforms if they failed to pay money into his account.
Atanda, a computer science National Diploma (ND) holder of a popular computer school based in Ikeja, was arrested by the Decoy Team of the Rapid Response Squad after about five days of baiting and monitoring.
Atanda, an ex-convict and a father of three, was said to have initially collected N121,000 from the four ladies and had wanted them to pay more or face the consequences of leaking their nude pictures on social media.
Although he operates as Segun Bayo on Facebook, posing as a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, police investigations revealed his true identity.
Atanda said his modus operandi is to first add several ladies on Facebook and then go after those that fall prey to his chats.
He said: “The profile picture on my facebook account is that of a guy based in London, and so as part of my introductions to ladies, I tell them that, I am a construction engineer as well as that my parents and I are living Europe.
“After sometime, I would lure them into sexual conversations during which, I persuaded them to send their nude pictures to me. They would send and I would send mine to them too.
“Before that I would pretended that I was seeking a serious relationship with them, and that very soon, I would be coming to Abuja on a business trip, during which I would see them.
“I would again feign my seriousness by calling them with the aid of computer software that transforms my Nigerian line into an international line.
“Meanwhile, I would warn them that I was calling through a public phone booth. As soon as they have sent their nude pictures, I would come up with all manners of stories. I would begin to extort and blackmail them.
“Through this means, I have collected over N121,000 from my latest victims. I was jailed last years in a similarly circumstance after fraudulently collecting N700, 000 from a lady I met through a dating site.
“ I was eventually bailed but the case is still pending in court. I have collected only 10,000 from Funmilola; Motunrayo, N6,000; Joy, N5,000 and Lizzy, N100,000.”
THISDAY gathered that apart from Lizzy, who reported the incident but declined to press charges, three other suspects, who were discovered during investigations, acknowledged that they have been paying the suspect so that he doesn’t leak their nude photographs online.
Even though investigators have reached out to more victims after checking the suspect’s facebook conversations with a number of ladies, all of them have refused to come forward, despite confirming that they paid the suspect.
Already, investigations have revealed that out the 210 friends on his Facebook, over 195 are young ladies.
Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, said the police was carrying out a thorough investigation on the case to aid prosecution.
The suspect has been transferred to the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Yaba, for further investigations.