By Ayodele Oluwafemi
Nigerian Instagram celebrities, Ramon Igbalode Abass aka Hushpuppi and Olalekan Ponle aka Mr Woodberry, who were recently arrested by the Dubai Police for alleged fraud, have been extradited to the United States.
Hushpupi, a Dubai-based Nigerian was arrested together with 11 others for allegedly defrauding over 1,926,400 victims of $435 million.
Hushpuppi and his gang were arrested in an operation tagged “Fox Hunt 2” in Dubai and compelled to go the 15 – 16 hours air journey to the United States.
The director of Dubai CID, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf said the raid resulted in confiscating incriminating documents of a planned fraud on a global scale worth AED 1.6 billion ($ 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.
Confirming the extradition of Hushpuppi and his gang to the United States where most of the victims of their alleged fraud reside, the Dubai Police in a statement, on Thursday, said FBI Director, Christopher Wray thanked the Dubai Police for working tirelessly to arrest and extradite the suspected cyber criminals.
“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,” the statement said.