A company driver has been arrested alongside his seven-man gang whom he employed to kidnap his bosses and made the sum of N4million from the illegal deal.
The operatives of Nigerian Police Force, has apprehended a driver identified as Yinka Adebanjo, who is a staff at Mateco Industry West Africa Limited, after he orchestrated the kidnap of his Filipino bosses, Jamie Larcar and Mario Maglundo (Filipinos) in the Odogunyan, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
According to a report by Punch Metro, the suspect, Adebanjo, a.k.a Esho, connived with an herbalist, Ishau Awokoya, and one Seun Ogunjobi, to abduct the expatriates after the 7-man gang, had pretended to be vigilantes guarding some Ikorodu communities against members of the dreaded Badoo cult.
It was gathered that the gang reportedly laid in ambush for the Filipinos, who were in a Jeep driven by Adebanjo. The compromised driver was ‘ordered’ to disembark from the vehicle as one of his accomplices took over the steering and drove away the victims.
While speaking to a correspondent a police source said; “They took the victims to the herbalist’s house in Iperu-Remo, Ogun State, on July 5, 2017, and kept them for nine days. The victims were released after collecting the sum of N4m as ransom. While they held the victims hostage, they removed their (abductees) SIM cards from their phones.”
Following their release, a team of the Anti-kidnapping unit of the state police command tracked down the driver to Ikotun, Lagos. He was said to have led the detectives to arrest the herbalist and Ogunjobi.
The suspects were paraded by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, in Ikeja on Monday. Charms and other ritual paraphernalia recovered from the suspects were also displayed.
Adebanjo confessed to providing information that led to the abduction of his bosses, adding that he got N400,000 from the N4m ransom.
He said, “I was a driver in the construction company where the Filipinos work. I was attached to them by the management. Because I drove them frequently, I knew their movements. I provided the gang with information. I got N400,000 as my share of the N4m paid as ransom.”
The 32-year-old herbalist said he was not involved in the operation, adding that he had initially received the Filipinos as visitors before he was later told that they were kidnapped.
He said, “It was Yinka (Adebanjo) who introduced me to the gang. He first came to me for some protective charms. That was Two months ago. He said he often travelled with his boss on long distance tours and needed some protection. I made some charms for him.
“He came back a few weeks later with other members of his gang. I also made some charms for them. We became friends. One day, he called me on the telephone that he was coming to my place with his friends and two visitors. Initially, I didn’t know the two persons were kidnapped. I got to know when they arrived my house with them.
“On July 9, 2017, they came back with a bag containing some money. They gave me N200,000. I didn’t want to be part of the crime. It was the money that influenced me.”