A 15-year-old Nigerian boy has been arrested for demanding a ransom from his father after staging his own kidnap with his friends in the central city of Jos, police said Friday.
The teenager and four accomplices aged between 15 and 22, were apprehended by police last week, after demanding a 500 000 naira (1 250 euros) ransom from his distressed father.
“It was staged perfectly”, Plateau State police chief Terna Tyopev told AFP.
“We are detaining them to ascertain why they did it and whether they have been behind other kidnaps that have been occurring in the area,” he said.
When the boys were asked why they staged the kidnap, they made “suspicious claims”, including that they wanted to buy clothes, Tyopev said.
Days before the incident, the boy’s father had sold his car to raise money for school fees for his children and to pay household bills.
From the sale the father earned the exact amount that the boys later demanded.
“They called the father and told him his son was taken outside of the state and that if he called the police they would kill him,” Tyopev said.
But the father still alerted the police, after his son had been “held” for days.
Police said they used the telephone number of the alleged kidnappers to track them to a house in the same city.
Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially in the oil-rich south and the northwest.
Kidnappings in central Nigeria are rising, local police say, adding that security agencies are mounting joint efforts to tackle the problem.