The Zonal Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Zone 16, has arrested and detained four personnel involved in the alleged abduction and extortion of N20 million from two suspected internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo boys, in Bayelsa State.
The arrested police personnel confessed that two civilian accomplices, one Eyi Mattthew Excel, and Mayor Goodluck Arab set up the Yahoo boys for extortion and kidnap.
The accused policemen were said to have stormed the residence of the Yahoo boys last Monday, who are indigenes of Bayelsa State but came in from Ghana, and arrested them with blindfolds to an unknown hotel in Azikoro town, where they tortured and threatened to kill them if they don’t cooperate.
They claimed someone from Ghana accused them of theft and threatened to kill them if they didn’t part with N50 million. However, after negotiations, the boys paid N20 million. The money was withdrawn in two tranches of N7 million and N13 million from the Automated Teller Machines of two commercial banks in Yenagoa.
While a report claimed the accused police personnel later offered their victims friendship and protection in Yenagoa and exchange numbers, others claimed the accused policemen asked for another N10 million a few days later.
The source also said that a friend of the victims, who learnt about their ordeal, decided to report to the Nigeria Police Force headquarters through the number they exchanged, and it attracted the attention of the police top echelon.
Preliminary investigations showed that the AIG Zone 16, Benjamin Okolo, was reported to have ordered the arrest of the accused policemen, and additional facts revealed that the accused personnel were not members of a team and were operating without the knowledge of their superiors.
“They work at various units but do shady deals together. In the past, they were nearly killed by some military officers along Agbura road in Ogbia Local Government Area where they mounted illegal roadblock to extort oil bunkerers,” a source added.
“Already, the accused police personnel have returned the N2.5million they each made from the Yahoo boys extortion deal, while Eyi Matthew Excel is reported to have returned his share of the deal but is still at large, Mayor was arrested and granted bail but has absconded.”
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer, Zone 16, Mrs Ikwo Kevin, said the suspected internet fraudsters defrauded some foreigners of $28,000 and were arrested by some police officers.
She said the fraudsters confessed to the crime and pleaded for leniency but instead of the police doing the needful, they compromised by collecting monies from them, so when the AIG got wind of the matter, he ordered their arrest and detention.
“The information we got was that the police got N10 million while the informant also got N10 million for their own share, but they eventually returned N7.5 million from their hideout and are still on the run.