Billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike aka Evans, did not only go for rich victims, he also lived and operated in a class of his own. He was able to dodge the police dragnet for many years because he had the penchant for using luxury phones. A police source told New Telegraph yesterday that investigators had discovered, among Evans’ array of expensive phones, two Slim Vertu phones and a Thuraya.
The first Vertu phone is said to worth N2.6 million, while the second is valued at N2.4 million. The Thuraya is also said to worth N800,000. According to the source, the Vertu and Thuraya phones made it impossible for the security agents to track him.
Thuraya in particular uses satellite services. Another police source said that investigators had traced additional 36 phone lines to Evans, after earlier narrowing down to 126.
This brings the suspect’s phone lines, which he used for operation, to 162. It was learnt that it took experts days before they could decode the workings of the suspect’s phones. But of all his lines, Evans, according to the source, had a dedicated line, which he used to call four persons said to be close to his heart.
They are his friend, sister, mother and favourite mistress, Amaka. Amaka was the wife of one of Evans’ lieutenants. Another suspect, Nwosu Chikodi Chukwuma aka Skudo, told investigators that Evans murdered Amaka’s husband and turned the woman to his mistress.
But when Evans was asked, he denied the allegation. Although he had four mistresses, Amaka, who already had children for her late husband, was the only mistress he calls on the dedicated phone line. Evans told police that the Thuraya phone was his preferred phone for usage during negotiations for ransom.
Detectives revealed that the phone is the type used by the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau and other terrorists to evade tracking and arrest. A police source: “The Thuraya phone can’t be tracked. It can get signal anywhere, either under the sea or in the jungle. It works with satellite and it doesn’t make use of SIM card.”
On Wednesday, the New Telegraph went Evans’ family home in Nnewi, Anabra State, where his mother, Mrs. Chinwe Onwuamadike, was said to be living. But her brother, Daniel Nwosu, claimed he did not know her whereabouts.
But yesterday, a police source disclosed that they tracked Chinwe to Bayelsa State.
The source noted that the woman bolted to Bayelsa State after hearing about the arrest of her son. As police continue to dig out Evans’ criminal activities, they have discovered that his wife, also from Anambra State, is a sister to a kidnap kingpin, who had been killed. It was learnt that rocket launchers were found in the said kidnapper’s home while Anambra State government also demolished his building.
The officer in charge of the Inspector General of Police Special Response Team (IRT), Mr. Abba Kyari, who led in the hunt and arrest of Evans, said: “Evans almost got away with his crimes. No criminal has given me this kind of headache in my career.
Not even the case of Godogodo or Vampire. I hardly sleep. Even when I’m in the toilet, I would be analysing over 100 numbers, checking out those he had conversations with. What we have gathered is like a book now.
“But the case was a hard nut to crack until we found something interesting in one particular number. Out of the all the phone lines, it was the only number that he was using to communicate with family members in Nnewi. We followed up on that and he was nailed.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, before Evans’ arrest, had placed a N30 million bounty on him.
According to him, the bounty placement was made on behalf of the IG, Ibrahim Idris. “We are encouraging Nigerians to blow the whistle on this kidnapper. Whoever blows the whistle that will lead to his arrest will get a N30 million reward, as stated by the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris,” the commissioner had said.
Yesterday, the New Telegraph made moves to find out the person who will collect the bounty since Evans had been arrested. But the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Jimoh Moshood, denied knowledge of the bounty.
He asked: “Where did you see that? I’m not aware of that announcement.” Pressed further, the FPRO said: “You need to find out which IG did that. I’m not aware; it is not to my knowledge.” Vertu New Signature Touch, according to c/net is the latest luxury device from British brand Vertu.
The 5.2-inch phone, it states, separates itself from the pack with a whopping price tag, which starts at £6,500, about $10,000 or equivalent of about N3.7 million.
“The New Signature Touch makes use of luxury materials like Titanium in its body, it’s hand-wrapped in your choice of calf, lizard or alligator skin and its screen is made from a solid lump of super-strong 130-carat sapphire.
“It’s not just about the design either as this phone is well-stocked with tech. Inside you will find an octa-core processor, the display has a full HD resolution and there’s a 21-megapixel, 4K-capable camera too. Mix in Vertu’s included concierge service, which lets you summon a lackey to do your bidding, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a phone,” it adds.