A woman Ebun Efunkoya at the weekend took to social media to narrate how she was hypnotised and defrauded over a million naira by a criminal syndicate operating with a tricycle.
The incident, according to the woman, occurred on Friday morning, March 22, near Eko Hotel where she boarded the tricycle enroute her office along Ligali Ayorinde.
“I boarded a keke napep at Eko Hotel roundabout heading to my office at Ligali Ayorinde, just a 50 naira distance. A lady was in the keke already, and then I entered. Few seconds after, a man entered also, putting me in the middle.
“He then alighted at a bus stop not so far and next thing he gets down and stretches to the driver dollar bills. The driver gets furious and is like he should go, the driver then calls him back and asks him why dollar bills?
“He starts speaking French fluently about how he is a foreigner and has never been to the country and due to that he has been scammed a lot in the past two days. The driver says get in. I would help you.”
Continuing, the woman said she was becoming impatient with the delays and only wanted to get to work but the driver started asking her and the other lady if they could follow him to a Bureau De Change (BDC) to change the dollar bills because he was scared the driver might dupe him.
Oblivious of this old trick by fraudsters, the lady who said she didn’t reply the man, however replied the lady who tapped her and suggested they helped the ‘foreigner’.
“The lady became really teary and tapped me, then said “madam can you hear what is going on, people are duping this foreigner, let’s help him”.
“Then, I finally spoke. I said “sorry I am late for work. l cannot”. The lady began to talk about how she was also going somewhere but that we should be Good Samaritans and good Christians.
“I didn’t know when we passed my office and landed at a market and then I got into a car and the rest was history. I did not go to work that Friday as I spent the day with them.
“A pastor came into the picture and started telling me specific things about myself, more like he was ‘prophesying. He was quoting bible scriptures, praying in tongues, praise and worship. One thing led to another and I was duped N220,000 that Friday.
“But did it end there? No. Still under whatever influence I was put on, I got home that Friday/ Saturday morning and started borrowing money from my friends like a mad woman. I got the money easily because of course, it’s Ebun, she is my friend, and I trust her so why won’t I borrow her. (Only if they knew and I knew).
“It went further, I packed mine and my mom’s gold jeweleries, her cash at home and her ATM cards also. I left the house with my two feet and headed for Idimu, mind you I had a ton of stuff to do on that Saturday but I went my dears, just like a zombie.
“I got to them, they welcomed me, hugged me and the evangelist said it was time to bless all I brought and do
“deliverance. Now I was instructed to switch off my phone (so that the alerts as the withdrawals were going
on won’t be seen, I discovered this way later). They withdrew over N460,000 that I borrowed from friends and also my business money, took my phone (iPhone X), my wig, my smart watch, the gold jeweleries and emptied all my bank accounts!”
According to her, she later regained consciousness around 11pm on Saturday and borrowed a stranger’s phone to call her sister thinking she was at Iyana Ipaja only to discover her location was farther.
“She told me to get a cab and come home straight. I got home and everything was still a blurr. I then
started getting understanding and stable consciousness after. More like something was lifted from my eyes and my brain was opened.
“Yes, it happened to me and it is still happening in this day and age. It was not one day but two days. If you love humanity and human life, share this for awareness. No one deserves this traumatising experience. Nothing like let’s be more careful, just do not engage in any conversations with any stranger. As many good people there are, double of the number are bad people also,” the woman wrote.
Contacted, police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) said the incident was not reported at any police station.
He said: “The matter has not been reported to us. The lesson contained in the victim’s narrative is worth learning. It shows that all those involved are members of the swindling syndicate. Passengers in public transport need to be careful when relating with strangers. Report such suspicious persons to any police team on the road,” he said.
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