A 35-year-old man, Michael Atanda, who specialised in blackmailing lovers by threatening to display their nude pictures on social media, especially Facebook, if they refused to pay his monetary demands, has been arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command.
It was gathered that he was apprehended while blackmailing four ladies on the social media, who failed to pay the money he demanded.
The suspect, a Computer Science National Diploma holder of a popular computer school based in Ikeja, was said to have confessed to the crime.
Atanda, who was also said to be an ex-convict and a father of three, was caught in the process of collecting N121,000 from the four girlfriends he was blackmailing. He wanted the ladies to pay more or face the prospect of their nude pictures exposed on social media.
How I work—SUSPECT
In his profile on Facebook, he is Segun Bayo, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, and goes about adding several ladies as friends.
According to him, after two weeks, he would start chatting with them, saying “the profile picture on my Facebook account is that of a guy based in London. As part of my introduction to ladies, I tell them that I am a construction engineer and that
my parents and I are living Europe.
“After sometime, I would lure them into sexual conversations during which I persuade them to send their nude pictures to me. They would send and I would send mine to them too.
“Before that I would pretend that I was 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 also feign seriousness by calling them with the aid of a 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. As soon as they have sent their nude pictures, I would come up with all manners of stories, then begin to extort and blackmail them.
“Through these means, I have collected over N121,000 from my latest victims. I was jailed last years for 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.”
Victims won’t press charges
A source in RRS disclosed that apart from Lizzy, who reported the incident but declined to press charges, three other suspects, who were discovered during investigations, acknowledged on phone that they had been paying the suspect so he will not leak their nude photographs online.
The source added that though investigators had uncovered more victims after checking the suspect’s Facebook conversations, all of them had refused to come forward after confirming they were paying the suspect through his bank account.
The source added that out of the 210 friends on his Facebook profile, over 195 were young ladies.
Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Dolapo Badmus, said a thorough investigation on the case was ongoing.
The suspect has been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigations.