In June, as part of their special operation named “Fox Hunt 2” the Dubai Police Force arrested over 11 Nigerian scammers who were living in the United Arab Emirates. After 6 raids were conducted while the suspects were asleep; Dubai police seized (among several items) more than $40 million in cash as well as hard drives containing the addresses of over two million victims. One of the thieves was Ramon Olorunwa Abbas who goes by the name “Hushpuppi” on Instagram.
Hushpuppi had become a social media celebrity, with over 2,000,000 Instagram followers. He could be seen frequently flaunting his lavish lifestyle, with his Instagram page filled with posts of him in exotic luxury cars, private planes, and designer clothes, jet-setting to fashion shows around the world and also dining with celebrities, sports stars and politicians.
The arrest was part of an FBI investigation that revealed Abbas as one of the figureheads of a massive transnational cybercrime network specializing in Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, which are a growing form of cyber-fraud that involves hacking corporate emails and sending fake messages to clients in order to redirect financial transfers and steal bank details.
Abbas 37, was extradited from the UAE to the US to face criminal charges for conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through online heists, including those targeting a US law firm, a foreign bank and even an English Premier League soccer club. Investigators used Abbas’s Instagram and Snapchat accounts to track and confirm his location.
Abbas is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks, according to the FBI affidavit. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.