A Nigerian man blamed for multimillion-dollar extortion and possible online fraud by the United States was grabbed by the FBI from Dubai, his attorney says.
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas – known to his 2.5 million Instagram adherents as Ray Hushpuppi – and another digital heist suspect Olalekan Jacob Ponle (otherwise known as Mr Woodberry) were captured in Dubai, where they lived, till June when they were allegedly abducted to the United States to face a Chicago court on 3 July. The legal counsel stated that United Arab Emirates had no removal “legal jurisdiction”, with the United States yet Dubai police said they had handed him over to the US.
A representative for the US Department of Justice told a local media that Hushpuppi was ousted from Dubai and was not removed. He didn’t answer how he ended up with US authorities.
Mr Abbas’ legal counselor Gal Pissetzky narrated that his customer, who posts on Instagram about his lavish way of life, was not a crook and had brought in his cash legitimately.
“He is an internet based life influencer with a huge number of devotees, with a huge number of individuals that regard and adored him, and he cherished them, and that is the thing that he did. In the present society, that is a business,” he said.
Mr Pissetzky concedes that he isn’t “100% natural” with online networking and his youngsters think of him as excessively old however he knows “that is the means by which certain individuals bring in cash today”.
According to the Chicago resistance legal advisor, Hushpuppi was paid by certain brands for marketing brands advancement which ultimately made way for his wealth.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) charges Mr Abbas, 37, of scheming to wash a huge number of dollars from cheats known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and different tricks.
This is one of the most recent case relating to a Nigerian national in the United States however his legal advisor consistently argues that the US had no jurisdiction to take him from Dubai.
“As I would see it, the FBI and the administration here acted wrongfully when they grabbed him from Dubai with no legitimate procedure to do as such,” said Mr Pissetzky.
“There was no removal, there were no legitimate advances taken, there were no court archives documented, it was basically a call to the FBI. He isn’t a resident of the United States, the US had definitely no power to take him,” his attorney says.
However, the Dubai police said in a Facebook post that the FBI chief had expressed gratitude toward them for removing the two men.
Aka Huspuppi himself has had a long history making a lousy expression of exorbitant wealth and riches in a foreign land without any evident means of Lili-hood. This has over the years raised suspicions on the credibility of his income and grandeur.
At the point of seizure, he was found with over $35 million United States Dollars cash, over 10 high tech vehicles worth $6.8 million. 21 Personal Computers, cell phones and the addresses of over 1.5 million possible defrauded casualties.
Some of the charges levied against him include possible transnational system of cuber-criminals, with possible links to United States based lawyers, a foreign bank and a UK based Premier League football club.
Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence has developed ways to easily expose patterns of email constructed to steal unsuspecting internet users by collecting their data or by identify theft of other legitimate businesses’ contact with the aim of transferring cash to pseudo accounts. These culpable acts are handled in Nigeria’s criminal Code called 419. It’s been observed that most of Nigeria’s scams are centered on Social Engineering such as claims to move funds to an offshore account from Nigeria, taking advantage of a National or international event for hidden or self-gratifying /unwanted motives.
It is advisable for everyone on the Internet to be wary of what they post on social media or cloned websites sent as links into emails as these are easy areas where scammers hunt for preys.
The United States Federal bureau of Investigations reports that over $1.7bn was swindled off individuals and organizations through email and Internet frauds in 2019 alone.