Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, is set to be prosecuted for multiple frauds in Dubai, UAE’s newspaper, The National, reported Wednesday.
The newspaper said prosecutors have charged the 38-year-old, whose real name is Ramoni Abbas, with “obtaining money from others through fraudulent means.”
They also revealed that he was referred to the Dubai public prosecution and is currently being questioned by prosecutors at the Bur Dubai section.
Security officers in the emirate arrested Mr Abbas and 12 others for online fraud that targets companies and individuals.
“They would send out letters from email addresses almost identical to those of legitimate companies, targeting customers of these companies, with the purpose of diverting payments to themselves,” the newspaper quoted a senior Dubai prosecutor as saying.
Hushpuppi was arrested by Dubai Police on June 10. He has been charged with obtaining money from others through fraudulent means and is currently being questioned by prosecutors at the Bur Dubai section.
According to the report, security officers in the emirate arrested Hushpuppi and 12 others for online fraud that targets companies and individuals.
“They would send out letters from email addresses almost identical to those of legitimate companies, targeting customers of these companies, with the purpose of diverting payments to themselves,” the newspaper quoted a senior prosecutor as saying.
“Initial information includes that he was part of this gang which fraudulently obtained cash and cars from people.
“His statement was taken by the prosecution but this is just the beginning of prosecution investigations.”
He is wanted for fraud crimes in Europe, the United States and Nigeria.
On Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Hushpuppi also has a case to answer with the commission.
The anti-graft agency revealed this in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.
The anti-graft agency described Hushpuppi as ‘Nigeria’s most-wanted hacker’, and gave his real name as Ramoni Igbalode.
This is different from Raymond Abbas which Dubai officials say is Hushpuppi’s real name.
The statement read, “The Commission is familiar with grisly details of his money laundering transactions, involving many high-profile cybercriminals facing trial in Nigeria.
“The commission is engaging with the FBI in tracing victims of his fraudulent transactions and other fraudsters having direct involvement with him. Local cybercriminals with money laundering networks with him are also being investigated”.
The commission also said Hushpuppi was arrested on June 10, in the United Arab Emirates in connection with a $35 million ventilator scam.
Mr Abbas’ arrest was first rumoured on Nigerian social media Tuesday, but PREMIUM TIMES was unable to get official corroboration until Friday.
Many of his followers acknowledged benefitting from his occasional cash ‘giveaways’, even though his source of affluence, which has long evoked the curiosity of bloggers, remained unclear,
Mr Abbas appeared to be the highest-profile Nigerian to be arrested so far in 2020, months after several other Nigerians, including Obinwanne Okeke and Ismaila Mompha, were arrested in August and October 2019, respectively, for their alleged roles in separate multinational fraud.
Hushpuppi, who has over two million followers on Instagram, is known for his display of wealth on social media.
He often posts pictures with his luxury cars like Ferrari and Rolls Royce and a private jet.