Raymond Abbas (Igbalodely) aka Hushpuppi Nigerian Instagram star arrested in $431 million cyber scam, after boasting photos of lavish lifestyle on social media. Based himself in Dubai.
A Nigerian Instagram star who boasted online about his lavish lifestyle of private jets, designer clothes and luxury cars was earlier this month busted in a $431 million cyber scam, according to a report.
Raymond Abbas, also going by the name of Raymond Igbalodely and better known by his social media identity, Hushpuppi to his 2.4 million followers, was arrested on the 10th of June in Dubai for an alleged scheme that involved ripping off credit card information overseas, the Times of the UK reported.
‘The suspects targeted victims overseas by creating fake websites for well-known companies and banks in a bid to steal victims’ credit card information and then launder the stolen money,’ Dubai police Brig. Jamal al-Jalaf said.
Twelve other people were arrested in raids for their alleged involvement in the cyber scam.
Investigators said Abbas, 38, who passed himself off as a wealthy real estate developer, flaunted his collections of luxury cars, shoes, watches and other goods to help ‘lure victims from all over the world,’ the outlet reported.
Hushpuppi and Mr Woodbery’s Instagram fame and display of luxury helped Dubai Police arrest them for Fraud.
Their cybercrime squad was involved in $435.6 million (AED1.6 billion) scams. pic.twitter.com/rPKPxJ4amT
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) June 25, 2020
The FBI and Interpol raided his Dubai apartment as he slept and seized more than £30 million, or $37 million, in cash, the report said.
He and at least a dozen other associates were busted in the international operation, code-named Fox Hunt 2, after detectives used their social media to track their locations.
During the raids, investigators uncovered email addresses of nearly 2 million victims on dozens of phones, computers and hard drives.
Abbas, who once posted a video of himself tossing $100 bills as confetti, has also been accused of fraud in Europe, America and Nigeria, according to the report.
‘I post a few of these things so that someone can see my page someday and decide not to give up.’
His high-flying lifestyle has previously come under scrutiny with some questioning his claims he reinvented himself from a secondhand trader in Lagos to a billionaire international property developer.
Of his extravagant purchases on social media, Abbas once told followers, ‘I post a few of these things so that someone can see my page someday and decide not to give up.’
A video was uploaded by Dubai police of Mr Abbas looking startled and in handcuffs after his arrest on June 10.
Local media reports that the FBI will push to extradite Mr Abbas to America as many of the alleged victims were US citizens. Mr Abbas has not yet commented on the allegations as he is en route from Dubai to Nigeria to face charges against him there first.