Security operatives in Lagos have apprehended a man who lures his victims using beautiful women.
Man lures victims with beautiful ladies (Photo: TheNation)
A suspected 47-year-old fraudster, Christopher Okoeguale a.k.a Benson, alleged to be using beautiful girls to trick rich male victims has been arrested by the operatives of the Inspector General of police Intelligence response team (IRT), The Nation has gathered.
Also arrested were four ladies he allegedly used to trap his victims, namely Chidera Onugwu (21), Jennifer Egbeselea (26), Chinasa Agbo (21) and Omoike Princess (18).
A police source said that Okoeguale, who led a five-man robbery gang, was in the habit of sending the beautiful ladies to the streets to lure potential victims.
Once they were on the street, they flaunted their beauty to attract highly rich men many of who often fell for the ladies after discussing for a few minutes.
The girl would then ask the would-be victim to follow her to her uncle’s place where Okoeguale would pose as the uncle or father, as the case may be.
With Christopher acting as the father in the house, another member of the gang would pose as a stranger and walk into the sitting room with a carton containing fake dollars and the chemical used for producing them as well as other dubious instruments.
The girl would bring the victim to the sitting room and introduce Okoeguale to him as her father or uncle. She would then relate how deeply interested the victim was in her. The fake uncle/father would ask him to sit and they would start to discuss.
As they were discussing, another member of the gang would walk into the parlour like a stranger with a carton of fake dollars and Okoeguale would welcome him, asking why the early visit.
The ‘stranger’ would then tell him that he came with $50,000 but the chemical was not enough to wash all the dollars. As they were discussing, the girl used as a bait would be there listening with rapt attention.
Noticing that the victim had become interested in the discussion as to how to get the money for chemicals, Okoeguale would pretend to be angry with the ‘stranger’ for allowing the victim to join in discussing the matter.
He would get up in a fit of anger, calling the stranger a thief and a fraudster. He would then go into the inner room pretending to be angry, leaving the victim with the ‘stranger’ in the sitting room to discuss.
In most cases, the victim, attracted by the big money, would tell the ‘stranger’ that he was interested in the dollar business, asking what he was expected to do to share from the money. The ‘stranger’ would tell the victim that $50,000 was at stake and he would need five people to contribute money for the chemical needed and get about $10,000 each in return.
At this point, Okoeguale would emerge from the inner room and start acting as if he overheard their discussion on the $50,000 dollar deal. Before long, all the three men would start discussing the deal.
At intervals, Okoeguale would threaten the victim and the ‘stranger’, telling both to leave his house. He could start calling the ‘stranger’ as an ingrate who wanted to cheat him by bringing in his brother, who did not know how they suffered to get the $50,000 they want to wash.
With this, the victim became even more interested and asked the stranger to tell him how much each person should contribute. The ‘stranger’ would tell him N5 million, asking him to bring his with an open cheque or transfer the money with his phone or go straight to the bank to withdraw it.
The police source said that some of the victims had lost as much as N10 million to the suspected fraudsters. He also said the girls used by the gang also find their own ways of extorting money from victims, asking them for certain sums with which they would keep their body and soul together before they get married.
The source said the gang had defrauded many people before their last victim, a timber seller brought by one of the girls, named Chidera, decided to report them to the commander of the IRT, Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, after he was defrauded of N1.8 million.
Confessing to the crime, Okoeguale, who his gang members addressed as chairman, said: “My real name is Christopher Okoeguale but my operational name is Benson. I am married with three children.
“I stopped my education in primary four. I hail from Ishan, Edo State. I learnt electrical welding and I had a shop at Kura Street by MECO, Benin City, and I had two apprentices as at 1995. I used to get N1,000 every day. But anytime I got a contract, I used to go home with about N6,000.”
“Unfortunately, when I was duped of N65,000 by one Emeka, I became devastated and decided to relocate to Lagos. He told me to go and look for somebody they could dupe of a reasonable amount. He even asked me to bring the leader of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), the late (Frederick) Fasehun for them to dupe, but my efforts failed. I sold my property and relocated to Lagos in February, 2017.
“I travelled to Benin to get these girls, four of them, and gave them a room in my two-bedroom flat. Those of them who were interested in learning, I took them to a catering school in Lagos. I took Jennifer to a catering school at Akesan. Chinasa and Chidera, who wanted to learn hair dressing, were kept indoor pending the time they would start.
“But Princess, who wanted to learn about selling medicine, was waiting before IRT operatives struck.
“I trained them to use their beauty to capture rich people. Their work ends when they capture victims and hand them over to me. My responsibility to them is to advise them to be security conscious so that no man would rape them in the course of trying to lure them to me for the fraud game.
“Since I relocated to Lagos, I have only duped nine people without stress. There is no case I cannot use the girls’ beauty to destroy. But I saw a different ball game in IRT because they are the only unit I could not use beautiful girls to influence.
“I promise to return all the money I have defrauded my victims of and to relocate to my village to farm. I will never go into this type of thing again.”
Chidera, a native of Nsukka, Enugu State, and schools certificate holder, said she met Okoeguale at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, where she was a sales girl and he said he would find a job for her, but he ended up making her to scout for victims.
“Initially, he told me and my sister Chinasa that he would find hairdressing work for us. But he ended up putting us in this mess,” he said.
Jennifer, on her part, claimed that she read Accounting at Ekpoma Polytechnic and was working in a plastic company on N40,000 salary when Christopher lured him to Lagos.
She said Christopher told her that he was an engineer, “and he asked me to be telling victims that I was his wife, just to deceive them. It was in Ekpoma he came to lure me.”ing victims that I was his wife, just to deceive them. It was in Ekpoma he came to lure me.”