The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 35-year-old man, Michael Atanda, who has been threatening to expose nude pictures of four ladies on the social media if they fail to pay money into his account.
Atanda, a computer science National Diploma holder of a popular computer school based in Ikeja, was arrested on Thursday by the Decoy Team of the RRS after about five days of baiting and monitoring.
Atanda, an ex-convict and a father of three, had collected N121,000 from his four victims with the threat, but wanted the ladies to pay more or face the consequences of leaking their nude pictures on social media.
Disguising as Segun Bayo on Facebook and a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Atanda said he went about adding several ladies on Facebook. And, that after two weeks, he would start chatting with them.
“The profile picture on my Facebook account is that of a guy based in London, and so as part of my introductions to ladies, I tell them that, I am a Construction Engineer as well as that my parents and I am living Europe…. After sometime, I would lure them into sexual conversations during which, I persuaded them to send their nude pictures to me. They would send and I would send mine to them too,” the suspect said.
“Before that I would pretend that I am seeking a serious relationship with them, and that very soon, I would be coming to Abuja on a business trip, during which I would see them…. I would again feign my seriousness by calling them with the aid of computer software that transforms my Nigerian line into an international line. Meanwhile, I would warn them that I was calling through a public phone booth,” he stated.
He noted, “As soon as they have sent their nude pictures, I would come up with all manners of stories. I would begin to extort and blackmail them. Through this means, I have collected over N121,000 from my latest victims.”
He further confessed that “I was jailed last year in a similarly circumstance after fraudulently collecting N700,000 from a lady I met through a dating site. I was eventually bailed but the case is still pending in court…. I have collected only 10,000 from Funmilola, Motunrayo N6,000, Joy, N5,000 and Lizzy N100,000.”
Out of the 210 friends on his Facebook, over 195 are young ladies. Apart from Lizzy, who reported the incident but declined to press charges, three other suspects, who were discovered during investigations, acknowledged on phone calls that they have been paying the suspect so that he doesn’t leak their nude photographs online.
Even though investigators have reached out to more victims after checking the suspect’s Facebook conversations with a number of ladies. All of them have refused to come forward, after confirming they were paying the suspect through his bank statement.
Atanda also opened a bank account with the same name, Segun Bayo, in one of the old generation banks.
The Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos who confirmed the arrest said the Police were carrying out a thorough investigation on the case to aid prosecution. The suspect has been transferred to SCID for further investigations.