A social media influencer Raymond Abbas from Nigeria, popularly known as Hushpuppi, was recently arrested for being involved in a cyber scam involving over 350 million pound sterlings.
The influencer used to pose as a billionaire on Instagram and show off his limited collections of shoes, cars and watches. Abbas’ Dubai apartment was raided by FBI and Interpol officers to investigate him. They seized more than 30 million pound sterlings in cash after the raid.
The 38-year-old Instagram star has over 2.4 million followers on the platform and was sleeping when the police raids hit his home. Investigators have revealed that Abbas would pose as a billionaire and “lure victims from all over the world”.
According to the police reports, email addresses of around 2 million victims were found on several computers and phones. Twelve other people have been taken into custody for their involvement in the scam.
Brigadier Jamal al-Jalaf, of Dubai Police CID spoke to The Times and revealed that the suspects used to target “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”.
The gang has reportedly exploited people in the United States, Europe and Nigeria. Beginning as a second hand clothes trader in Lagos, Abbas started pretending to be a property developer in Dubai soon after.
According to reports, he was arrested by the Dubai police on June 10 and the FBI is looking forward to extraditing him to the US as many of the gang’s victims were US citizens.