Luke Poulin met Sandra Lewis on an Internet dating site. Recently, Lewis was to join Poulin in the United States of America as his wife but she did not show up. Poulin then got a mail that Lewis had been kidnapped. TOYOSI OGUNSEYE writes that this may be another Internet scam.
Luke Poulin was eager to see the lady he had dated for over seven months. Even though he met Sandra Lewis on an Internet dating site, he had no doubt in his mind that she was his wife. He had showered her with gifts worth $80,000 throughout the period they dated and couldn't wait to be united with her.
Lewis was expected to arrive in the United States of America on March 2, 2011. That day, Poulin could not hide his excitement as he went to the airport with his mother. They got there hours before Lewis's flight was to arrive and stood there with flowers and a ring for Lewis.
After waiting for several hours and there was no sight of Lewis, the Poulins went home worried. What happened to her? Did she miss her flight? Did she fall ill? Those were some of the questions on their mind.
A few days after, Poulin who just got over a bad marriage received an electronic mail that Lewis had been kidnapped on her way to the airport in Kano. He was confused because Lewis had earlier told him that she was residing at 2BE hotel and suites, room 206, in Lagos and she was expected to depart Nigeria from the Lagos airport. What was she doing in Kano? Poulin asked himself.
In the mail, the abductors told him that they tortured Lewis and forced her to give them Poulin's e-mail address. The mail read, "Well sorry this is coming rather late. The reason is that we have a long list of people in our custody and your acclaimed wife, Sandra, has been proving stubborn but after sweet torture, she finally gave us your contact and we want to tell you that she is safe with us."
Lewis's kidnappers then went ahead to demand a ransom, "Listen we are not demanding much but we demand the ransom of just $7000. It is not compulsory you get us the money because it is not mandatory that she lives. But get this straight, if we don't have the money we won't ever release her alive. We advice (sic) you in your own interest not to talk to anyone about this, we have seen posters of her being declared missing. I want you to know that the police who you think will help you are also part of us so you can be sure it will not help if you still believe they are the ones to help you get her.
"I will advise you not to contact anybody after reading this mail; rather get to work and know how you will get the money to us. We opened this mail so we can contact you, we could have called you but we know is possible for you to trace the call. We will be waiting to read from you here on this mail. Be warned don't contact anyone again to look for her. If our reliable sources tell us you're still trying to get the kidnapper then you can be sure we will kill her and send you the photos for confirmation."
They added that they were open to negotiations. "We are very nice persons so we will welcome your negotiation. The choice is yours. Whatever you decide, mail it to us, until then we will let your wife rest well but if we don't get good response from you then I think you had better start looking for another wife because we will eliminate your Sandra."
Poulin who was terrified at this point told the kidnappers that he would be glad to pay them on the condition that they sent Lewis's pictures to him as evidence that she was alive and well in their custody.
When they sent the pictures to him, Lewis did not look like someone that was kidnapped. She was relaxed in a pool and even wore some make-up. Poulin then asked the abductors to send him the pictures of Lewis holding her passport and a current newspaper.
To that, they replied thus, "Well, we just gave you the chance to save your woman. That was the reason why we took our time to contact you to know if you are willing to save her. You can't order us around. She is not the only white hostage we have and by the time we have sorted them all out, we will just drop her off in the ocean. We could have got you what you asked but we are far from where we can get it done. This may be the last mail you will get from us; since you have proven not to be cooperative, the choice is yours. Good bye."
Poulin however stood his ground that he would only send the money if they met his conditions. While all this was going on, he got a call from one John Suton, who claimed to work with Assertion Security Services, Lagos that he could help in tracing Lewis.
Poulin's mother who monitored the exchange between her son and the kidnappers however smelt a rat. While her son was working the phones and trying to trace his lover in Nigeria, his mother wore a rueful smile suspecting that her son was a victim of a scam. She suspects that Lewis never existed and that her son has fallen victim to Internet fraudsters who pretended to be Lewis.
She says, "He told me he met her on a dating site in the summer and that he had only talked to Lewis on the Internet. She claimed to be born in England and was brought up in Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. He sent about $80,000 to her and I know he has $50,000 owed on his credit card because of this. I'm so mad at people like this. How could they break someone's heart like that? To use people at their weakest points in their life....I know my son was trying to get over a bad marriage when he got into this. He was so happy his life was turning around only to be let down again. I just don't know what else to say."Meanwhile, Poulin, an American, was admitted in a US hospital after the incident.
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