Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Instagram celebrity Hushpuppi extradited to the US after arrest in Dubai

Ramon Abbas, known as Hushpuppi, and his accomplice Olalekan Ponle or Woodberry were arrested last month for cyber fraud and money laundering

Latest: Hushpuppi accused of targeting English Premier League club in $100 million scam

A social media celebrity and his accomplice have been extradited to the US after being arrested in Dubai last month.

Nigerian Ramon Abbas, known as Hushpuppi, and his accomplice Olalekan Ponle or Woodberry were among 12 people arrested in a police operation called Fox Hunt 2.

On June 11, they were referred to Dubai prosecution for investigations.

Police said their crimes included money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft committed outside the UAE.

Raymond Abbas, a famous Nigerian Instagram celebrity, has been extradited to the US after arrest in Dubai. Courtesy: Raymond Abbas Instagram   
Raymond Abbas, a famous Nigerian Instagram celebrity, has been extradited to the US after arrest in Dubai. Courtesy: Raymond Abbas Instagram   

They are accused of creating fake websites of well-known companies and banks, and defrauding people.

During the raid, police confiscated 13 luxury cars, valued at about Dh25 million, 21 computers and 47 smartphones.

They said the email addresses of 800,000 people were found and Dh1.6 billion could have been stolen from victims of the alleged scam.

The operation was called Fox Hunt 2, after a similar raid was carried out in February on an African cyber-crime gang accused of stealing Dh32m in a similar scam.

Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, thanked Dubai Police for arresting and extraditing Hushpuppi and gang.

Emirati police have in recent months focused on organised crime gangs found to be operating in the country.

Last month, a suspected drug trafficker linked to violent turf wars in Belgium was arrested in Dubai.

Nordin EH, a Belgian-Moroccan, faces various drug charges and was linked to cocaine smuggling and hand-grenade attacks on rivals in Antwerp.

In December, suspected Dutch crime lord Ridouan Taghi was arrested in connection with 11 murders in the Netherlands.

He was alleged to be behind a third of Europe’s cocaine trade and is rumoured to have made €100m (Dh412m) from drugs trade.

In June, Amir Mekky, an international gang leader wanted by Interpol, was arrested in Dubai.

Mekky was associated with Taghi and the Angels of Death gang and was wanted in connection with two murders and arson attacks in southern Spain.

Updated: July 8, 2020 03:13 PM

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