The Punch reports that police have arrested a suspected fraudster, Uchenna Ugwu, for allegedly defrauding some women and later raping them. The 26-year-old indigene of Enugu State, while being paraded at the Awka, Anambra State office of the Department of State Service, confessed to the crime, adding that he raped his victims to fight boredom. It was learnt that Ugwu belonged to a syndicate, which specialised in luring ladies while pretending to be spiritualists, defrauding and raping them.
The group’s modus operandi was to lure women into their trap and initially tricked them into disclosing their ATM PIN codes. If a victim refused to comply, the group would threaten to inflict a strange ailment on her based on a spiritual power they possess. Having succeeded, the gang members would take their victim to an arranged prayer house, where she would be compelled to take a oath never to disclose her experience to anyone.
The victim would then be raped on the pretext of making a charm for her. That was how Ugwu and his group operated in Asaba, Delta State, and Obosi, in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State for a long time, before luck ran out on Ugwu. He was arrested by the DSS based on petitions from some of the victims.
Ugwu, who said he stopped his education at primary six due to financial constraint, said he turned to crime to survive. He said:
“I joined this business to fight boredom because my former work was not going on fine and had shut down. My parents, who are still alive, are poor and because they cannot sponsor my education, I had to stop at primary six.”
Ugwu, while begging for forgiveness, said he was a changed man.
“I have suffered a lot in the hands of these people (DSS) and I promise not to indulge in this act again in my life; this is a lesson to every young man that doing evil is not the best,” he said.
A lady, who said she was a victim, believed she was hypnotised. She said:
“I believe he used a charm on me. He told me if anybody heard about what happened, I would not live to tell the story. To be sincere, I did not know what I was doing. I lost my sense of reasoning during the process until after he raped me.”
The Director of DSS, Alex Okeiyi, said the antics of the hoodlums were many, warning members of the public, especially females, to be cautious. Okeiyi said:
“It is noteworthy that since agencies in the state with the support of the government kept kidnappers and armed robbers in check, undesirable elements resorted to fraudulent practices including rape.”