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Monday, 10 July 2017

My crime life, by Evans

My crime life, by Evans

Evans granted the interview to New Telegraph

Billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, in a revealing interview told New Telegraph details of his life of crime and the road to his arrest by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team. Excerpts:

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In 2006, you went for a bank robbery in Lagos and got shot….
It’s not true! It was not in 2006. It happened in 2008. A friend of mine invited us to come and make peace. They were having issue of money. When we got there, he started shooting everybody.

What led to the issue of sharing money?

The matter was between Emeka, Iyke and others. I tried to intervene and Iyke started shooting everyone. He shot so many people.

What led to the sharing of the money that made Iyke to start shooting everybody?

Nothing led to it! I told you it was an issue over money.

You went for a bank robbery. Yes or no?

It was not a bank robbery. The major issue was between Emeka and Iyke. It was Emeka and Iyke that were having issues. Along the line, myself and others decided to intervene in the matter.

Iyke now decided to call everyone in order to make peace. But on getting there, Iyke and his friends, Jude and Humphrey, started shooting at us.

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What happened that led to the shooting?

I wasn’t shot on my shoulder. I was shot on my hip (Lifts his shirt to show the scar). They were having issue over sharing of money.

What money was that?

It was money they made from robbery. The money was from robbery of a filling station. They said they went to Con Oil Filling Station in the night to rob. It happened in 2008.

Why are you saying ‘they’? Didn’t you go with them?
No! I didn’t go. I was not part of them. I was called to come and intervene in the issue, to make peace. Iyke called his friends to come and take their share of the money after the robbery.

Later, Emeka now called me that they were having problems with Iyke seriously. He said that Iyke didn’t want to give them their share of the money.

Emeka said that Iyke carried out the operation with his instruments (weapons) and as such, Iyke was supposed to give him part of the money. But Iyke didn’t want to share with Emeka, so I was called. It was supposed to be a peace talk.

What happened?

I was shot by Iyke. I can’t really say how many people he shot and killed on that day. I only know that after he shot me, I ran out of the place.

Where did you run to?
I ran straight to a hospital.

How did the police arrest you after you ran?

I first ran to Ajeromi General Hospital, hoping to get the bullet removed there. I spent three weeks at that hospital, without solution. I was later discharged. Someone later called me, saying that there was a native way the bullet could be removed.

He said it could be removed using herbs. He said that once herbs are placed on the wound, the bullet would come out. Unknown to me, the workers in the native hospital were police informants. They used three days to keep placing herbs on the wound. It was while I was there that the police came to arrest me.

How many of you were arrested?

I was the only person arrested. I was brought to this Lagos State Police Command. The OC SARS back then was one Gaji.

Why didn’t the police charge you to court?

I was transferred to Owerri, Imo State Police Command. They said there was a case I had there. One man said I snatched his car or something. I said it was true. It was after the Imo State Police Command finished their investigation that I was given bail.

Even with bullet wound you were granted bail? What role did a police woman called Tina and your mother play in your release?

I was in the cell. I didn’t know anything that was going outside. I didn’t know what they discussed. I didn’t know who signed or took my bail. I was in cell throughout. The people that took my bail discussed with the police. I was granted bail at Eagle Squad, Owerri.

Who took your bail? Tina or your mum?

I don’t know! All I know is they brought somebody to sign and take my bail. It was one woman police officer, Tina, that came with my mum to police station to take my bail. The police woman is from my village. I didn’t go to court.

Where did you get the gunshot wound on your shoulder?

I got it at South Africa. I went to deliver something to somebody. It was coloured substance. The guy collected the goods and shot me. I was taken to Plymouth Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. I was operated there.

Didn’t the hospital alert the police when they saw the bullet wound?

No! They don’t do that in South Africa. They would first give you medical attention before any other thing.

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What happened after that?

After my operation, police did investigation to found out the person that shot me. They couldn’t get the person and then I had to come back to Nigeria.

Which year did you get this bullet wound?

This one (shoulder) happened before the one I got during the Iyke’s shooting.

After two bullet wounds, you still went for another robbery in Oyo in 2010. Didn’t you?

No! It’s a lie! In fact, I don’t operate in all those Yoruba states. I have never operated there. Lagos is my state and this is where I mostly operated from.

You mean to say you have never operated in Oyo State before?

No, I have not. The places I have operated are Edo, Lagos, Enugu and Abia States.

There is a CCTV video showing a bank robbery in Oyo State. You appeared in that video.

No, it’s not me! I don’t operate in Yoruba states. I dare you to bring the CCTV video and play it. It’s not me. It can’t be me you saw in the video.

How about Anambra State? Have you ever operated there?

No! I don’t operate there because it’s my state.

Why don’t you like operating in Yoruba states?

It’s because I don’t know my way around there. You can’t go where you don’t know, unless you have someone to lead you.

Is it true that the people you work with for robbery or kidnapping are usually Igbo traders?

Yes, most of my gang members are Igbos. It’s because they understand me and I understand them.

There are a lot of conflicting stories about you in the social media. Is it true you said if police did not act on the information and informants lists you gave them, you would ‘finish off the police’?
I never said a thing like that

What about list of the names of businessmen from the East who are your accomplices and informants? The people you shared ransom ration 60:40?

I don’t have any list of businessmen working with me. The only thing I told the police is that I know people that sell ammunition.

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Who are your informants?

The police don’t want me to disclose it to the media because they are still carrying out investigation.

According to social media, your wife used to collect ransom?

That’s not true. My wife didn’t even know I was into crime.

You’ve been in this business for many years. When were you hoping to stop?

I don’t know what to say about that. Well, I knew I was going to stop one day.

After acquiring so much wealth, didn’t you know when to quit?
Well, I didn’t know exactly when, but I knew God’s time was the best.

You were waiting for God’s time to stop?

No. I had already told myself that one day, I will stop.

The pharmacist, Donatus Dunu, said Emeka was working with your gang….

Emeka did not work with us. It was someone that knows Donatus that brought the information about him to us. I have told police this. I have also informed the police who the person is.

The person doesn’t work in Chief Donatus pharmaceutical company. Well, I can’t say anything further, because the police are still conducting investigations.

We heard that drug cartels in Festac used you as a tool to settle scores and deals that went wrong, you would abduct one, collect ransom and settle the aggrieved?

On this particular issue, the police so far do not want me to say anything about it. There was something like that, but it’s not something I can start saying here. There are many of them like that.

Why are your victims from Nnewi and Nneli, especially since you don’t like ‘hurting’ your people?

There is no Nnewi person among my victims; it is only the owner of Young Shall Grow Motors that is from Nneli.

But they are all from Anambra State….
Yes, but there is also an Imo State person among them

Do you have property at Festac and Amuwo Odofin areas?

I don’t. I have property in just Magodo and Ghana. I have two buildings in Ghana, but they are not in my name. I also have two houses in Magodo.

But you have connections in South Africa. Don’t you?

Yes I do. I have people in South Africa, whom I do drug businesses with. I go to South Africa often. But I don’t have a building there.

People keep describing you as a billionaire. Do you see yourself as one?

(Smiles) No, I’m not a billionaire. I don’t know how to describe myself.

Why is that?

It’s me that will tell you whether I’m a billionaire or not. It’s not people that will tell me.

Based on the million dollar ransoms you collected from your victims, your net worth should be in billions.
It’s not possible! When we collected the dollars, dollars had not gone up.

One of your victims said you collected a ransom of $1.5 million instead of $1 million you claimed to have collected….
The money I had collected is not up to N1 billion. I’m the person that collected them.

That person is lying! They are all lying. I’m the person that collected the money and I know what I collected. I know better than anyone. It is only two victims that paid $1 million. The rest didn’t pay that much.

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How about the bullion vans robberies?

I didn’t make much money from the bullion van robberies. In fact, if you check all my properties, I acquired all of them from the money I made from kidnapping. Immediately I got that money, I bought those houses and cars. I have even sold some of the cars before I was arrested.

How much did I make from the bullion vans robberies?

The bullion vans that go from eateries to eateries, picking small amount of money? I didn’t even know the money was that small. It was only from kidnapping that I made money. If police can investigate, they’ll find out that I only bought those property after I started kidnapping in Festac.

You were tracked to Anambra during a kidnap you carried out. How is this so, especially since you don’t kidnap your people?

I have never kidnapped anyone in Anambra State. I was tracked to Anambra State because that was where I went to pick a ransom. It was a safety measure, to avoid detention and arrest.

This means you know virtually everything about your victims’ families and businesses. Do they know you?

I know those that I kidnapped. Some of them may know me now because my face has appeared in newspapers. But before, they didn’t know it was me behind their abduction. Some know me and others don’t.

Do you investigate your victims before kidnapping them? And have you ever made mistakes in picking victims?

Yes we do. We have never really made mistakes. It’s only that everyone is saying that I collected $1 million from all those people I kidnapped, which is not true. It’s only two people that paid $1 million. It was only Ucheson Okoroafor and James Udoji.

Are you saying the rest are lying?

Yes, they are lying. Well, the matter has happened and right now I’m carrying my cross alone. All I ask is for them to forgive me.

We heard you are building a church in the East. Is that so?
No, it is not true.

Your wife’s family has a very big beautiful building in the village. Did you build it?

No, it was not me. It’s one of their brothers that built it. He is in Bamako. That’s Mali capital.

They said the person that built it is in South Africa….
No, maybe you didn’t hear them well. I know where he resides right now. He has been to so many countries. His name is Richard. He has money.

You own corporate accounts. Did you register the companies?

How many companies and what are their names?

They are five corporate accounts and they are all registered under one name: Chinwuba Multi Trade.

How much do you have in them?

There’s no money in them

How come?

I know you are expecting me to mention N100 million or so, but the truth is, what I have in the accounts are either N20,000 or N300,000.

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Where and how do you keep your money?

Well, I wasn’t the only one who spent the ransom money. I had people that worked with me; people that I used to settle after operation. My share of the money was used to buy the houses you have seen and the cars. I have already sold some of the cars.

What can Nigerians or a rich person do not to be kidnapped?

There’s nothing anyone can do to avoid being kidnapped, unless the kidnappers don’t know you have money. If you have money, kidnappers will always find a way to get you.

What do you think the government can do to stop drug trafficking, kidnapping and armed robbery?

Well, the government is trying its best, but another thing government can do is to have undercover agents, to work with criminals and arrest them.

Do you have a domiciliary account?

Yes I do, but there is no money inside.

Your greatest problem is that you lie a lot and you keep changing your story. You told us earlier you didn’t have a domiciliary account.

I didn’t put ransom money in the bank. Even if I don’t have sense, you know that if I take such money to bank, police would arrest me. So, you shouldn’t expect me to take such money to the bank.

In fact, amongst all my accounts, only GTB is the account I frequently used. I told you that I used the money (ransom) immediately I got them. I used part of the money to buy the property. I also paid people that worked with me.

Have you killed anybody?

No, I have never killed. All my victims are still alive. You can go and ask them.

What about bank robberies? Haven’t you killed policemen while attempting to rob?

I’m not into bank robberies.

We heard your gang killed a footballer’s father after collecting N15 million….
It’s wasn’t me. I can swear on that. I don’t change my stories; ask me any day, I would still repeat the story.

Do you have links with militants’ kidnappers?

No, I don’t.

But you used to go to creeks to buy guns. One of the gang members said so….
Soyoko is from there Niger Delta. He is my friend, but I have never worked with militants.

Do you know China and Vampire?

I don’t know them, but I have heard of them. I heard about them in the news. But you wouldn’t believe me.

Do you know they were kidnappers?

You heard everything that happened to them?

And you still continued in crime?

I had the feelings to stop and I was working towards it. In fact, I prayed at some point towards it.

Why did you focus more on kidnapping, when there’s more money in drug trafficking?

Yes, there’s more money in drug trafficking. I didn’t stop drug trafficking totally. I was doing it side by side with kidnapping.

Is it true that one of the drugs you swallowed burst in your stomach?

Yes, something like that happened. It was just a leakage. It happened in Holland.

But you said you’ve never been to any other country apart from South Africa and Ghana?

Well, I actually used an English Guyana (South America) passport to travel. It happened a long time ago. I took the drugs from Surinam. I claimed to be citizen of English Guyana. It was a long time.

How many wraps did you swallow?

One Kilogramme. It was for sale.

How where you able to resolve the drug that burst in your belly?

I took some medications. I was not detected at their airport.

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But your wife said you have cancer?

Yes, I have something like that. I have colon cancer. I have been on medication. I have not been taking my medication since my arrest. No doctor told me that the cancer was caused because of the drug burst, but I suspected it was.

Why were you using different names in different states?

I knew police were after me. The names had works to do then. If you know me as Mike in Ejigbo and Chukwu in Ajah, it creates confusion.

But it seems like Evans is the most popular. Why?

It’s a name I have been bearing since I was in secondary school; I never had an English name, so I decided to give myself Evans. The other names don’t have any special meanings.

Social media said you were arrested at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport and print media says your house. Which is it?

I was arrested at my house in Magodo.

I went somewhere and then on my way back, I confirmed that police were after me. Police had been arresting so many people because of me. So I went home to change. I now called a cab that would take me to where I will travel.

I wanted to travel to Ghana. I was planning to go by road. As I was coming out of my house, the police grabbed and arrested me. They had surrounded the house. I didn’t run. There was nowhere to run or hide.

We heard you have lawyers working to get you off the hook. Is this true?

Me? I don’t know of any lawyer working for me. But if there is, I will thank God.

Is it true you get your victims via Facebook?

It is not true. How can you go to Facebook to pick victims? What do you know about the person? To know somebody who is rich is not by the person driving big cars or wearing big ties. It doesn’t work that way.

I asked you before how many policemen you killed in bank robberies, you said none….

I don’t use gun. Everyone knows me as expert driver. You can ask anyone. I also don’t like hurting someone to the extent the person would start bleeding. I don’t like the sight of blood.

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Do you torture your victims?

Never! In fact, I don’t like to see blood coming out of another person’s body. Nobody ever tortured our victims. If they claimed they were tortured, they are lying. I did all my operations without using or carrying gun.

Listen, when I’m negotiating with the victim’s family members, I would tell the victim to start crying and saying they were going to die. But the truth is that, nobody tortured them. You can go and ask them. The idea is that when their people hear them crying, they would make haste to pay the ransom.

Tell us about your first bank robbery….

I have answered that question before. I have never done any bank robbery operation. That was why when you said you saw me in a video in a bank robbery operation, I told you it was a lie. I knew it couldn’t be me.

I told you to go and bring the video. I have never done bank robbery before in my life. I don’t like it! It is from 2013 and 2014 that people can say they started hearing of Evans and it was kidnapping. There are people that specialized bank robbery.

I don’t like bank robbery because you get to hear that 10 people went for bank robbery operation and only five returned. What is the joy in that? That’s not the way I plan or want my operations. My thing is that everyone should go for the operation and all would come back alive and successful.

You have never done bank robbery, but you have done bullion vans robberies?

I have done only three bullion van robberies. I have done one at Aba, Old Umuahia Road. People in Aba used to give me information on the bullion vans movement. The bullion vans go to pick little amount of money from different places. It’s not from banks!

Where do you get camouflage for your kidnapping operation?

I’m not supposed to speak on that. Police are still investigating.

Who initiated you into drug trafficking?

I’m not supposed to talk about it. I have told police. I’m not supposed to tell you.

Who initiated you into kidnapping?

It’s my friend Elvis. He is from Edo State. He returned to Nigeria from overseas in 2013. It was from him I learnt my skills, after which I decided to be on my own and established myself.

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Would you say you have utilized all the wealth you acquired positively?
I can’t say for sure.

How do you feel presently?
The experience I had now was not the experience I had when I was arrested last time and brought to this command. I have sense now, more than before.

Some of your gang members had been killed. Why didn’t you stop?
Yes. I know. It’s not because I feel I’m invisible.

How about your wife and kids?
Let God help them.

Do you hope to see them one day?
If God permits it.

Did you prepare special accounts for your wife and kids knowing you would soon be arrested?
It’s not true.

When your mum saw the bullet wound you sustained during the sharing of money incident, what did she say?
She didn’t say anything. She only advised me to stop what I was doing.

Are you the only child?

No. My mother has six children for my father.

Why do you blame your father and step mum for your predicament? Is it your father that pushed you into crime?

Do I know? I don’t know. It’s not because of police I don’t go to our village. It is because of what they are practicing there: juju.

Any time I go to the village, I always had problem. You don’t understand what I’m saying. I’m the first son. My father will not tell me today that he trained or catered for me. But if there was any way my father and step mother wronged me, I have forgiven them.

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