Breaking: Dubai Hands Hushpuppi Over to the FBI

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 02 – Nigerian socialite, Raymond Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi and other arrested with him are on their way to the United States after the Dubai Police handed over to the FBI on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Dubai Police, on Thursday and seen by Today’s Echo’s correspondent, Christopher Wray, Director of FBI, praised the role of Dubai Police in arresting Hushpuppi and Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka Woodbery, and handing them over to the US.

“Director of FBI expressed his thanks for the exceptional efforts (of Dubai Police) in fighting organised cyber crimes and arresting Hushpuppi and Woodbery,” Dubai Police said in the statement.

According to Dubai Police, Hushpuppi and Woodbery, wanted for a series of crimes like money-laundering, fraud, hacking of websites and accounts, impersonation, banking fraud etc.

Hushpuppi and Woodbery were arrested with 10 other suspects on allegations of fraud, involving huge money.

According to Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, the gang members were designing and mimicking company and bank websites to steal credit card data and illegally obtain victims’ money before laundering the cash.

During the arrest, police found a huge amount of data on individuals, companies, bank accounts, credit cards as well as documents of money laundering, online fraud and hacking accounts of victims across the world.

“The forged documents pertained to online fraud outside the country. The fraud was worth more than Dh1.6 billion. We seized more than Dh150 million in cash from them and confiscated 13 luxury cars worth Dh25 million,” Brig Al Jallaf said.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf added that the raid resulted in confiscating incriminating documents of a planned fraud on a global scale worth AED 1.6 billion ($ 435 million).

“The team also seized more than AED 150 million ($40.9 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of AED 25 million ($6.8 million) obtained from fraud crimes, and confiscated 21 computer devices, 47 smartphones, 15 memory sticks, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of 1,926,400 victims”, he said.

After conducting further investigations and analysing confiscated electronic devices, Dubai Police investigators uncovered sensitive information mined by the suspects on individuals and companies overseas including bank accounts and fake credit cards as well as documents and files condemning the gangs’ illegal activities.

Police confiscated 21 computers, 47 smartphones, 15 memory cards, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of nearly two million victims.

From the onset, Hushpuppi had been a somewhat enigmatic character. Although there has been no proof, many Nigerians suspected his wealth may not have been acquired through legal means, but they loved him, nonetheless. Despite his apparent affluence, it was hard to trace a commensurate source of revenue. Once when he was asked what he did for a living, he said he was an internet beggar. At some other time, he said he is an ambassador for Gucci. Even after arrest, his real name remains a mystery with different versions touted in the media including Raymond Igbalodely, Ramoni Abbas, and Ramoni Igbalode.

 Hushpuppi’s arrest has generated a lot of attention in the social media as Nigerians discuss the increasingly popular notion among Nigerian youths that money has to be obtained by any means.

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