Reports suggest that Barnali Baurah Saikia, a female boxer and gym trainer from Guwahati, Assam, is being held captive in Nigeria by her ‘social media friend.’
It was noted on October 28 that Barnali Baurah Saikia, the victim, unexpectedly traveled to Nigeria to see a Nigerian whom she had met online through her husband. Reports said she didn’t speak to her family again for the following three days, though. On the fourth day, however, she was able to get in touch with her family and inform them of her situation.
Her online friend King, a young man, and his assistant Daniel have kidnapped her. Her family reported to the police that they had received calls demanding ransom from the Nigerian man, and they had then filed a FIR.
About six months ago, Barnali Baurah Saikia’s husband, Nayan Saikia, introduced her and her family to the Nigerian young man going by the name, King on social media. He became acquainted with the family as well. Video conversations and chats led to Barnali and King to become closer. Over time, as their intimacy grew, she decided to fly to Nigeria on a tourist visa to meet him.
However, this wasn’t a great encounter between the ‘friends’ as he snatched away her visa, passport and cash after he came to receive her at the airport in the Nigerian city of Lagos. She was then held captive by King and Daniel, and could not contact her family members for three days.
Fortunately, Barnali Baurah Saikia somehow managed to contact her family members on the fourth day of captivity through a WhatsApp call, seeking their help in order to secure her release from her abductors. She said that she had been kept captive in a room, and she was not being given enough food to eat.
King called the family members, asking for ransom in exchange for her release. He called her parents demanding ransom with threats. Family went on to file an FIR with the police.
“On October 28 my mother went to Bangalore to Lagos in Nigeria along with my father’s acquaintance. It was all fine in the beginning but in the last few days she has not been given food and basically, she has been abducted,” informed the victim’s daughter.
Furthermore, she mentioned that her mother left on a 14-day visa on 28 October. Her tourist visa has already expired.
In a formal complaint, her family filed with the Dispur Police station, claiming that King prevented Barnali Baurah Saikia from getting to the airport, even though her husband had purchased a return ticket on November 13 at 10:45 p.m. Barnali was first kept in a hotel,as per her husband Nayan Saikia, but she was later moved into a room. He claimed that although he had previously sent ₹5.5-6 lakh, his wife has not yet been released.