Crime Watch

Lovers fake own kidnap in Akwa Ibom, demand N4m from family

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested a woman identified as Imaobong Sampson and her boyfriend, Beltus Ebong, for allegedly faking their kidnap.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Odiko Macdon, in a statement on Monday said they were apprehended in Mbierebe Obio village, Ibesikpo Asutan after demanding ransom.

Macdon said operatives of the command’s Anti-Kidnapping Squad tracked the suspects to their hideout after a report of a kidnapping case in the area was received.

He said the complaints received by the command indicated that the purported kidnappers were demanding N4 million from the family of Imaobong.

“As a result, operatives of Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the command embarked on an intense and intelligence-driven investigation so as to track down the perpetrators and rescue the victim.

“The said purported victim, one Imaobong Sampson ‘M’, and her boyfriend, Beltus Ebong ‘M’, were arrested in their hideout at Mbierebe Obio Village, Ibesikpo Asutan L.G.A,” he stated.

The Police PRO said Imaobong confessed that the abduction was staged with her boyfriend and others for the purpose of extorting money from her aunt who lives outside Nigeria.

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Earlier this year, the Nigerian Police Force arrested four suspects for allegedly staging their abduction in different parts of the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the arrest was effected by a team of operatives from its Lagos, Abuja and Plateau State Commands.

Adejobi said a man, David Yabrifa, 53, and his wife, Regina Yabrifa, 48, made relatives believe they had been abducted so that they could obtain a N5m ransom.

He said the other suspect, Albarka Sukuya was arrested in Plateau for staging his kidnapping on several occasions, and one Nnamdi Agu also staged his kidnapping in Abuja in an attempt to defraud his family.

The spokesperson said in part; “In Lagos, a couple was arrested for an alleged self-kidnapping scheme aimed at obtaining a N5 million ransom recently.

“The husband, Doubara David Yabrifa, a 53-year-old technician, and the wife, Regina Yabrifa, a 48-year-old body massager and bone setter, were apprehended after a family member reported the purported kidnapping.

“The couple confessed to planning the self-kidnap to raise N3m to purchase a property in Badagry, Lagos. The husband justified the act, citing financial difficulties and a lack of support from relatives. Both were arrested, and they were subsequently charged in court.”