Monday, 12 June 2017

Notorious Kidnapper Chukwudi Dumeme Onwuamadike Aka Evans Speaks: 'How I Evaded Police Manhunt For Years'

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After evading the law for four years, notorious kidnapping kingpin, Chukwudubem George Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, was finally apprehended at the weekend by the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

Given his penchant for evading the law, his capture after four years of living under the radar was celebrated by the police.

Wanted in three different states – Edo, Anambra and Lagos – Evans was touted to be the brain behind most of the high-profile kidnappings nationwide.

Going by his police profile, Evans had been touted as the most brilliant, crafty and richest of the criminal world, thus making him a dangerous kidnapper.

Although he continuously evaded arrest for four years, he became a person of interest to the police, following his alleged involvement in the abduction of Innocent Duru, the owner of a pharmaceutical company in Ilupeju, Lagos.

After the victim fled and revealed Evans’ gang’s hideout, a building which belonged to the kingpin, the Lagos State Government set out to demolish the house at no 19 Ataye Street, by Lanre bus stop, New Lagos area in Igando.

But as his nefarious reign grew, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had mobilised all the resources to back the IRT in making sure he was arrested. The IG also placed a N30 million bounty on his head.

Three weeks later, he was arrested by the IRT, led by Abba Kyari, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), who had closely monitored his movements and everyone in contact with him.

The tireless monitoring, sleepless nights and the close marking on motorcycles finally paid off, when he was picked up in his home at Magodo estate, Lagos.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Evans had over the years collected billions of naira as ransom during his seven-year reign as the kingpin of kidnappers.

The 36-year-old native of Nnewi in Anambra State, was known for collecting ransoms in dollars and often got the family of his victims to pay as much as N300 million to N400 million to secure the release of their loved ones.

To get such huge sums as ransom, Evans usually targeted people living in Festac, Amuwo Odofin, Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island in Lagos, and also extended his nefarious activities to Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States.

On Saturday evening, operatives of IRT picked him in one of his mansions at Magodo area of Lagos.

Evans and his gang members were paraded, yesterday, at Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Jimoh Taiwo, who said the arrest was the beginning of the end of kidnappings in Nigeria.

“This is a success story for the police,” he noted.

Evans told Daily Sun: “I was able to evade police arrest because I was too wise. I am the only surviving member of our initial gang. I learnt kidnapping from China who was also killed. I formed my gang and my members formed their own gang which is an adhoc gang. I told Uche to hire two flats at Igando. When we get victims, we have people that will receive them and hand over to another gang who would hand over to another person that looks after the victims. None of these gang members know themselves, so it is difficult to know me. The only person that knows me very well is my second in command, Felix, but he does not know where I stay.
“I have two houses in Magodo Estate and two other in Accra Ghana. I have 11 phones and they are for different gangs. I don’t use a phone for two gangs.The one for my immediate family members is different from that of extended family. I tried as much as I could to keep off from trouble and the people I know. I am still puzzled the way I was picked in my house like a common criminal.
“It is true I don’t collect Naira for ransom. I collect Dollars. And I don’t reduce ransom. If I say $1 million, it is final. This was because of what I went through in life. It’s not because I am wicked.

“I was into auto parts importation but lost all my money (over N25 million) when Customs seized my goods. I relocated to South Africa, where I started peddling drugs. Along the line, my business partner shot me thinking I was dead. I recuperated, returned to Nigeria and decided to start kidnapping rich people for ransom.

“The police see me as a bad man. I am not evil. I have never killed. The victims who died were killed by Urchman, Uche and Nnamdi. They were the ones who carried weapons. Chinedu and Ehis brought contacts and names of victims to be kidnapped. We have kidnapped about 10 people since I started my own gang in 2015. Uyi Technical and Dan Odete paid N100 million and N50 million ransom respectively. I got N10 million as share.

“The highest amount I have collected was $1 million from Festac. I don’t know my networth. I don’t have any money in the bank. I operate only one account. I collect dollars because it’s my choice. It’s not true that victims pay money to an account in South Africa.

“Once the victims pay the ransom, the money goes to the people who own it. I don’t have a boss but some people own the money.

“I have people heading different sections. There are two gangs that work for me in every operation. It is not all the time I follow them. Most times, I control them on phone. The two gangs do not know themselves and none of them know my house.

“Two people take charge of the detention camp at Igando and on every operation, I pay them N2 million each. My parents are in the village. My mother knows what I do but she has never approved of it. I have five children- three boys and two girls. I sent my family to Canada.

“I have dual citizenship – Nigeria and Ghana. I got visa for my family in Ghana because I couldn’t get it in Nigeria. I have not left Nigeria since 2007 that I returned from South Africa but my family usually travelled and I also give money to people to buy whatever I need or I buy online.

“Most of our victims are targetted and picked along the road or before they enter their homes. We do not pick victims from their homes. I believe it was time for me to be arrested, that was why I was caught because I have always been in Nigeria. I am suffering from abdominal cancer and I am always on drug.

“Uche Amadin is incharge of the detention camp at Igando. At first, I told him I was into international business (drugs) but along the line, he knew it was kidnapping and he stayed with me. He was the one who brought his wife into it. He was the one who said we should rent a house at Igando in his wife’s name.”
According to the Police spokesman, five AK47, an AK 49 rifles, two double barrel long guns, two English pistols, 59 AK47 magazines with ammunition, 1,272 9mm live AK47 ammunition and five number plates were recovered from the gang in the joint operation carried out by the IRT and the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Lagos Police Command and Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

“This is a huge success for Nigeria Police. The force would build on this success and continue to prevent kidnap cases and criminality in the country. He has two mansions in Magodo GRA Phase II worth about N300 million. He has two houses in highbrow area of Accra,Ghana, among many other properties such as exotic cars, expensive watches,jewelries, he bought from proceed of ransom,” the PPRO said.

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