Nigerian wife fakes kidnapping to dupe ransom from husband

ONITSHA, Nigeria Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:10am EDT

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ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - A Nigerian woman faked her own kidnapping to extort a $1,200 ransom from her husband, police said on Tuesday, in a region of the west African nation plagued by abductions.

Authorities arrested the woman and her accomplice, a motorcycle taxi man who helped her stage it, after tracing the bank account given for her husband's payment of 200,000 naira ($1,200) to the taxi man himself.

"They have confessed to the crime and we are corroborating our investigation to be able to charge them in court," said Ebere Amarizu, a police spokesman in Enugu state.

Kidnapping for ransom is rife in southern Nigeria, particularly in the oil-producing Delta region, in the ethnic Igbo area to the north of it, where Enugu lies, and the commercial hub of Lagos.

In some cases, police suspect the victims collude with their abductors.

The multi-million dollar criminal enterprise pushes up the insurance and security costs for businesses, including foreign oil majors who have often been targeted in the past. ($1 = 160.1 naira)

(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Writing by Tim Cocks, Editing by Gareth Jones)

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