Not a Nigerian prince, but a Nigerian influencer named Raymond Abbas was recently arrested in Dubai. The man with some 2.4 million followers on Instagram is said to have cheated them out of hundreds of millions. The damage is said to amount to approximately $431 million. The 38-year-old man is accused of credit card theft. Abbas is not alone in the allegations but is said to have worked with several accomplices. Authorities have labeled the operation “Fox Hunt 2” internally.
According to the investigators, the Instagram star portrayed a billionaire lifestyle in order to ‘lure victims from all over the world’. Abbas bragged about luxury goods under his screen name Hushpuppi. He claimed to have made his fortune through real estate. The luxury cars, private jets, and luxury clothing shown on Instagram helped to attract victims. These were then forwarded to fake websites of well-known companies to give their credit card details.
In an early morning raid in late June 2020 officers from the FBI, Interpol, and Dubai police stormed Abbas’ apartment and seized more than $37 million in cash. Raymond Abbas (aka Hushpuppi) and one of his co-conspirators going by the name Olalekan Ponle (aka Woodberry) have been extradited to the United States, according to a statement by the Dubai police. Twelve other people were arrested in raids for their alleged involvement in the cyberscam.