The Nigerian mega social media influencer who was arrested in Dubai in connection with a $435-million cyber scam has been extradited to the US and handed to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Raymond Igbalode, known as “Hushpuppi” and his alleged accomplice Jacob Ponle, known as “Woodberry” are now in the custody of the FBI. “Hushpuppi” has already made his first appearance in a US court and he and “Woodberry” are expected to stand trial and face charges that include money laundering and cybercrimes.
“Hushpuppi” (37) appeared in the US court under the name that he used when he lived in that country. He used the name “Ramon Olorunwa Abbas”.
He is currently being held at a prison in Chicago but expected to be transferred to Los Angeles.
“Hushpuppi”, has 2,4-million Instagram followers. He claims to be a real estate developer and has posted many pictures of inside or in front of private jets, shopping ultra luxury brands, posing in front of expensive cars such as Ferraris, Rolls Royce, Bugatti Veyron and others.
The FBI has written to the Dubai Police, thanking them for apprehending and extraditing the two to the USA.
The Dubai Police said, in a statement: The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray has praised the exceptional efforts exerted by the United Arab Emirate, represented by the Dubai Police General HQ, in combating transnational organised cybercrime including the recent arrest of Raymond Igbalode Abbas, known as “Hushpuppi” and Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka “Woodberry” who were taken down in operation “Fox Hunt 2”.
Mr Wray also extended his appreciations to Dubai Police for their cooperation in extraditing the wanted criminals, who committed money-laundering and multiple cybercrimes, to the United States.”
“Hushpuppi”, “Woodberry” and 10 other suspects were arrested in a special operation by the Dubai Police dubbed Fox Hunt 2”
The Dubai Police said: “Hushpuppi, Woodberry and the 10 were arrested for allegedly committing crimes outside the UAE, including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft.
“They were caught in a series of synchronised raids by six SWAT teams from Dubai Police who foiled the gang’s bid to deceive many people from around the world and steal their money.
The director of Dubai CID, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf said 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.