Operatives at the Kubwa Police Division in Abuja have demanded N180,000 to help a female victim recover N1.3 million stolen from her account by a suspected internet fraudster.
It was earlier reported Angel’s ordeal at the hands of one Frank, a suspected fraudster who illegally withdrew N1.3 million from the victim’s bank account using a SIM card linked to the account.
They had met physically at Soul Lounge nightclub in Kubwa after exchanging contacts through a ‘hookup’ mobile application in August.
It was meant to be a one-night encounter, but the duo ended up keeping each other’s company for eight days at the BChezz Hotel in Kubwa, Abuja.
She narrated how Frank used a mobile point of sale (POS) operator near the hotel to wipe her entire savings from her account.
The victim planned on using the money to rent a shop and start a hair and wig business.
she approached the police division to help track down Frank and recover her money.
The victim, who looked dejected when our correspondent met her at the Kubwa police division, said the police had arrested the POS operator, Michael, but later released him.
“This guy (the POS operator) told me he had no idea about what Frank did, saying that Frank told him that we were planning on getting married, can you imagine?” said the victim.
According to Angel, investigations showed that the POS operator was still communicating with Frank after the incident.
She said Michael was released by the police on bail on September 6, three days after he was arrested.
“My IPO (investigating police officer) said they released him to go print out his bank statement.
“But, how can the police release Michael on bail without telling me? The only available suspect? Because my IPO is Igala and him too? they are doing a tribal thing. I don’t understand how the police are handling this case,” Angel said.
Meanwhile, a senior officer at the division told our correspondent that the POS operator was released because he was not culpable of any offence as he was only doing his business.
“There is no need to keep him when he was only doing his business. So, all she can do is to allow the police to do their work by tracking him (Frank),” the officer said.
In a phone interview on August 10, It was reported that the IPO demanded N180,000 to track Frank and had demanded upfront payment of N60,000, while N120,000 would be paid upon the arrest of the suspect.
Besides that, the victim said the IPO also pressured her to allow him visit her at home.
Asked if she would pay the N180,000 demanded by the police, she said: “There is nothing to talk about; they already let the immediate suspect go. I honestly can’t trust them.
“Somebody that is a suspect, you released him to go before I came and you are telling me to come back. So, what if at the end of the day they help me to find this guy, will they still release him behind my back if he gives them money?
“The boy (Frank) has told me already that police cannot catch him, and he is right”.
Subsequently, the police told the victim that a Navy personnel was willing to help track Frank’s geolocation for N8,500.
This came after they reduced the original amount to N50,000, but noted that she might only recover N500,000 if they helped to arrest the suspect.
“…maybe they are thinking I still have money and they want to help me to spend it when I don’t have any other money,” she said, adding that she had only given the police N8,000 so far.