June 7, 2023

Nigerian well-known Instagram personalities Ramon Olurunwa Abbas (Hushpuppi) and Olalekan Jacob Ponle popularly known as Woodbery have been extradited from the United Arab Emirates to the United States.

“FBI thanks Dubai Police for arresting and extraditing “Hushpuppi” and “Woodberry”,” Dubai Police tweeted on Thursday.

“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”,” the Dubai police said in a statment shared in its Facebook page.

The two were confirmed arrested with 10 other suspects on allegations of fraud involving huge money.

The two Nigerians and 10 others were arrested in an operation tagged “Fox Hunt 2”, Dubai Media Office said.

In a video shared by police, officers explained how they arrested Hushpuppi. He is accused of creating websites that appear identical to those of well-known companies and banks.

People were sent emails and messages that prompted them to log in or make payments on the fake sites.

Hushpuppi is accused of being part of a gang that hacked corporate emails and directed huge payments to accounts they controlled.

Police said the raid resulted in the seizure of incriminating documents pertaining to a well-planned international fraud worth Dh1.6 billion – N169 billion.

The police said 13 luxury cars, valued at an estimated Dh25m ($6.8m), 21 computers and 47 smartphones were confiscated.

The gang had 119,580 “fraud files” as well as addresses of more than 1.92 million victims. Police said email addresses for 800,000 potential victims were discovered.

Hushpuppi’s arrest was first rumoured on Nigerian social media about two weeks ago.

Hushpuppi often posts pictures with his luxury cars like Ferrari and Rolls Royce and a private jet. Before his arrest, he posed as a real estate investor and businessman and has more than two million followers on Instagram.

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