Residents of Erukun community in Itori, Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State, were jolted over the weekend after detectives stormed the area and arrested suspected members of a syndicate that hide under the cover of spiritualists to swindle unsuspecting members of the public.
At the end of the operation, which lasted for hours, members of the syndicate including four women whose ages range between 35 and 52 years, were reportedly arrested in three buildings located inside the forest. Boldly written in front of one of the buildings is the inscription; Heritage Naturalist Car Limited a.k.a Isese Ajogunba. It is commonly believed to be a spiritual healing home where people with varying ailments visited from far and near, for treatment.
The operators of the shrine had reportedly boasted of their ability to communicate with the dead, a feat they claimed aided the healing process.
However, behind the curtains, the suspects were alleged to hypnotize their innocent victims and thereafter, demand for money. If their victims failed to succumb to their demand, they would allegedly detain them inside the shrine until their demands were met.
Sometimes, they reportedly allowed stubborn victims to leave the shrine unconscious, apparently to prevent them from blowing open the lid on their nefarious activities.
This is done after dispossessing such victims of their valuables which include phones and cash.
However, the bubble burst last Saturday, after the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, detailed men of the state Anti-Robbery Squad to be on the trail of the syndicate. The operatives reportedly stormed the shrine at about 3pm and succeeded in rescuing some victims.
Some of the rescued victims, as gathered, were found unconscious, as a result of the concoction that was allegedly administered on them. One of the victims, a woman of about 35 years was reportedly found in a secluded room where she was awaiting a message from her late mother.(NAN)