Two suspects, Moses Ogheneovo and John Bartholomew, who are currently being interrogated at the Edo State Police Command in Benin City have confessed that they merely collected N200,000 from a victim that they had threatened to kidnap on false pretence.
The suspects were arrested in their hideouts in Benin City following a police tip-off.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Sunday that one of the suspects called their supposed victim on the pretence that they have been commissioned to kidnap and murder him.
After some conversations, it was learnt that out of fear, the victim opened a ransom negotiation with the two suspects.
The victim, whose name was not released by the police, agreed to pay N500,000 or have him kidnapped.
A police source said the suspects were arrested along Adesuwa Grammar School Road in the Government Reservation Area of the Edo State capital.
“One of the suspects had put a phone call across to their supposed victim saying that they have been commissioned to kidnap and murder him. They then requested the sum of N500, 000, or have him kidnapped.
“Police Investigation revealed that the suspects then emphasised how he can easily be trailed for the abduction. Out of fear, the victim opened a ransom negotiation with them.
“While the ransom talk was ongoing, the police were immediately contacted to monitor the development. The sum of N200, 000 was finally paid as ransom to the suspects.
“Using very high technical means, the suspects were arrested along Adesuwa Grammar School Road in Benin City,” a police source said.
One of the suspects, John Bartholomew, in an interaction with PREMIUM TIMES, said they had only just wanted to threaten the man for money.
“We only wanted to threaten him. We did not mean to kidnap him. We were only trying to raise money to meet up with our financial challenges and we did not know that he had contacted the police. We only succeeded in collecting N200, 000 from him,” he said.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said a threat to kidnap was a serious offence as outlined in the criminal code.
Mr Nwabuzor said the trauma associated with the threat could trigger health challenges, adding that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as the investigation was concluded.
“The trauma associated with the threats of abduction and murder can trigger someone’s High Blood Pressure which could result in death. The two suspects are to be arraigned in court soon for the threat to wit kidnapping,” he added.
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