The operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad a unit of the Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a housemaid agent who specializes in assisting people to get maids with the motive of using them to abscond with money, jewellery and other belongings of their employers.
Francis Okputu, 37 years old a former drycleaner who turned house help agent had been using his influence to bring job seekers to Lagos and that of his wife who also help him bring people from her home town to work in Lagos as housemaids.
Francis whose mode of operation and agreement with the job seekers is to help them get maid jobs, where they will work as house help and domestic workers. He collects half of their salary for the first month as a commission fee and he had been doing this since 2003 predominantly on the Lagos Mainland.
In his confessional statement with the police, Francis owned up to helping people get housemaids as an agent and he installs not less than 15 domestic workers every year and gets half of their salaries as his commission but began to change his tactics after his financial burdens rose.
‘I Have been helping Lagosians get house helps and everybody in my neighbourhood knows that’s what I do and they also make recommendations and link me with their relatives who need my service.’
Francis added that sometime in May this year a friend directed one Joy Onoz to me to help her get a housemaid job which I did and all was fine until the next month when she began to call me that her Mistress does not like her and she will like him to help do something about it.
Francis getting to know that Joy’s Madam is wealthy, began to find means of looting the unsuspecting employer. He called Joy one day and warned her not speak English throughout their conversation and told her to steal her madam’s money, jewellery and also help him get her picture and deliver it to him in an undisclosed place.
The gold jewellery he told Joy would be replaced with copper and he will take the picture to a prophetess who will help him bewitch and make her not to question any of the girl’s deed after stealing her things.
Joy while talking to policemen about her agent’s move to loot her employer quickly told her Madam of Francis’ plans and they played along with his arrangement. The Mistress gave Joy some hard currencies and Jewelry and her picture and told her to contact Francis that she has successfully gotten some valuables.
Francis unknowingly instructed Joy to meet him at Iyana-Ipaja to handover her loots to him and that he would arrange how to get the fakes across to her by doing imitations of the jewellery to avoid any suspicion. Officers who had been contacted by the employer swung into action and laid siege for Francis at the agreed location where he was arrested after receiving the loots.
After his arrest, the Decoy team of RRS visited some housemaids whom Francis has installed in different parts of the State to question them if he (Francis) had one time or the other asked them to bring their employer’s valuables and also advised them to stay clear of any plan that is contrary to the law.
The police also visited the said prophetess who was to help Francis hypnotize Joy’s mistress and she disclosed that the last time she saw him was in February 2018 when he came for prayer and ask her to help hypnotize a woman who employed one of his clients but she refused his demand and sent him out of her church because she doesn’t indulge in such practice as a servant of God.
Recovered from Francis’ hand when joy was trailed to Iyana Ipaja, the point of exchange of the stolen items were $15 dollar notes, sets of gold jewellery worth N450,000 and a picture.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu in his reaction to the incident directed the transfer of the case to State CID office and advise Lagosians to be conscious of whom they employ as domestic staff to avoid theft of their hard-earned properties.