Kidnap kingpin said he made millions from crime

The urge for fast money has made many Nigerian youths resort to crime, not knowing that blood money does not last.

A kidnap kingpin in the net of the Lagos Police Command has now come to the realisation that money made from crime does not give one any peace of mind and is regretting his reign in the underworld.

That is the lot of Anthony Agidi, from Ughelli in Delta State, who became an instant millionaire from the proceeds of his kidnap business which he used to buy landed properties in choice locations, cars and opened a supermarket for his unsuspecting wife.

The 33-year-old Agidi who is a father of two, confessed to police that he made more than N10 million from kidnapping. The suspect who claimed he joined a kidnapping gang in Port Harcourt, said his gang used to operate in Lagos, Edo and Delta States.

He said:

"I live in Awoyaya in the Ibeju-Lekki area. I was formerly working as a welder before I joined the gang.

I bought cars, four plots of land in Benin and another plot of land in Lagos. I also opened a supermarket for my wife from the proceeds of kidnapping.

My wife believed I am a welder. She only got to know I am a kidnapper after the police arrested me."

Agidi who is a member of a five-man gang, survived a shootout where some of his members, whose names were given as Steve and Akpofure, were killed during a gun duel with the police.

Investigators said that the suspects operated with two AK47 rifles and three locally made guns, which have been recovered.

During interrogation, Agidi said that his first operation with the gang was in Delta State in 2011. According to him, the gang kidnapped a woman, adding that he was given N280,000.

"During the first and second operation, the gang refused to disclose the venue to me.

I was blindfolded because I was new in the gang. After the second operation, we moved down to Benin to kidnap a man.

I got N100,000 from that operation. After receiving the money, I believed it was a cool business. The third operation made me a millionaire. I was given N2.8 million.

The role I played was to drive the gang. I did not know where they kept the victim. It was a woman. We collected N9 million during the fourth operation. We kidnapped a man in Benin. I was also given N1.5 million.

We moved down to Delta State, between Oroku and Abeh Road. We kidnapped a man and I got N3.5 million.

Our sixth operation was at Eleko Junction, Ajah, in June 2014. We collected N1.6 million ransom from the victim and I was given 300, 000."

Agidi also confessed that during the gang's seventh operation, they a female banker with Key Stone Bank, Mrs. Ladi Garba, while she was returning home from office.

"Seven of us went for that operation. Steve blocked the banker’s car at the back while Tony and another guy attacked her. We abandoned her car, a Toyota Prado Jeep.

We did not need it. We only needed her. We took her to the bush; she spent six days in the bush with us. We did not rape her. We gave her everything she requested for. We bought food for her from a fast food outlet."

The suspect said that the gang ordered the victim’s family to pay N6 million. But according to the police, one of the kidnappers was arrested when he went to collect the ransom.

He did not know policemen had laid an ambush. When police got to the kidnappers’ den, there was exchange of gun fire, two gang members were shot dead, while others fled.

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