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FUNAAB Students’ Phones Stolen by Robber, Bitcoin Ransom Demanded

Students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, have urged the state police command to track down a yet-to-be-identified robber known as Saint Stealer for allegedly breaking into their hostel outside the premises of the school to steal their phones and other valuables.

The students, while complaining over the development, said the suspect, who usually targeted students using iPhones, after stealing their phones, usually demanded ransom before releasing the phones back to the students.

PUNCH Metro gathered from the student that the suspect usually received the payment through Bitcoin in exchange for the stolen phones.

One of the victims, Akinbode Akinlabi, said the amount paid as ransom was determined by the value of the iPhone, adding that there was no single student’s residential area outside the premises of the school that the suspect had not robbed.

He said, “Despite not being the only one sleeping in my room, he (suspect) stole over three phones in our hostel. The suspect stole the phone of a girl whose room was opposite mine. He stole my phone by tearing the net of my window and removed the phone from where I was charging it.

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“He then dropped a paper by my window that I should message him on telegram. He has been doing this for over two years and because we stay off-campus, there is nothing the school authority could do about it. He has robbed several students. The least he collects as ransom is $100.

“We are the ones who will contact him through his telegram account. And you know telegram is end-to-end encrypted. You cannot trace the person. I had to borrow from my family and friends to pay him the ransom. In his telegram account, he already pastes the prices there. The kind of phone you use determines how much you will pay. He only targets iPhone gadgets. I paid $200 to get my phone back.”

Narrating her ordeal in the hands of the suspect, an undergraduate studying animal nutrition at the institution, Ada Chi, said, “I woke up and could not find my phone. My window was badly torn. I had to call my number and he picked it up and said I should message him on his telegram account through a link. I paid $150 to get my phone back.”

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On whether the matter was reported to the police, a victim who identified herself simply as Munira, said the police were aware of the case.

She added, “A group of students caught him on April 19 and took him to the Harmony Police Station. The station is very close to the school gate. It was later that we heard the guy had been released by the police.”

Contacted about the case, the state Police Public Relation Officer, SP Omolola Oduniyi, said, “When I get to the office I will ask.”

She had yet to respond to a message sent to her regarding the case as of the time this report was filed.

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