The police command in Bayelsa State has arrested four officers over their involvement in the abduction and extortion of N20 million from two alleged internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo Boys.
Confirming the arrests, SP Ikwo Kelvin, the Public Relations Officer, Zone 16 Command of the force, which made the arrests said that the arrested personnel had confessed to the alleged crime.
Kelvin said that the arrested operatives had confessed that two civilian accomplices: Eyi Matthew Excel and Mayor Goodluck Arab, gave them the information that some internet fraudsters had successfully scammed a foreigner of the sum of $58,000.
He said that, based on the tip-off, the officers stormed the residence of the alleged fraudsters, who are indigenes of Bayelsa State, got them arrested, blindfolded and took them to an unknown hotel in Azikoro town, Bayelsa state.
The police spokesman said that the accused police operatives then threatened to kill the fraudsters with the claim that someone from Ghana accused them of theft.
He further said that the police officers were already in custody while investigation into the matter was ongoing.
“They threatened to kill them if they didn’t part with N50 million.
“The boys later succumbed and agreed to part with N20 million.
“They took them to two separate banks where they transferred N7 million and N13 million to the policemen,” he said.
Kelvin disclosed that a friend of the victims who learnt about their ordeal decided to report to the Nigeria Police headquarters, which drew the attention of top police officers to the case.
According to him, preliminary investigations revealed that the AIG of Zone 16, Benjamin Okolo, then ordered the arrest of the renegade policemen immediately.
He said that the accused police personnel have returned the N2.5 million they each made from the said deal, while Excel has also returned his share of the deal, though he is still at large.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the four policemen had been operating in the general area as a dangerous criminal gang terrorizing innocent citizens for long, similar to the SARS operatives who were disbanded following mass protests nationwide against them.
He said, “They were not members of a team. 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 an illegal roadblock to extort money from crude oil bunkerers.”