The Dubai Police which recently arrested Raymond Igbalode Abbas, also known as “Hushpuppi” and Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka “Woodberry” along with ten other cyber criminals in a special operation, has released a video showing how they were tracked and taken down.
Dubbed “Fox Hunt 2”, the operation took down the suspects for committing crimes outside the UAE, including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft.
Lt. General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest of ‘Hushpuppi’, ‘Woodberry’ and ten gang members involved in money laundry and cyber fraud activities, is another achievement added to the proud record of Dubai police in ensuring the emirate’s security and safety as well as preserving people’s money and property.
“Similar to operation ‘Fox Hunt 1’ that took down an African gang of nine online scammers last February, Op ‘Fox Hunt 2’ is another painful hit to cybercriminals who try to mess with the world’s security and safety,” he said.
In a video which was shared by the police, officers explained how they arrested Hushpuppi.
Hushpuppi’s principal scam was to create websites that looked identical to well-known companies and banks, it is alleged.
He and his accomplices then used emails and messages to prompt people to log in or make payments on the fake sites.
The gang hacked corporate emails and directed huge payments by companies towards accounts they controlled.
Olalekan Jacob Ponle, known as Woodberry, was also arrested along with ten other men in a operation involving six police SWAT teams.
Along with 13 luxury cars, valued at an estimated Dh25m ($6.8m), police confiscated 21 computers and 47 smartphones.
The gang had 119,580 “fraud files” as well as addresses of more than 1.92 million victims.
Hushpuppi posed as a real estate investor and businessman, with more than two million followers on Instagram.
His account shows a lavish display of wealth, landing at Atlantis, The Palm in a helicopter and flying across the globe by private yet.
At a wedding in Dubai attended by Nigerian celebrities that made headlines in his home country, he was seen in a video dancing around the room throwing $100 notes into the air.
Abbas posed as a successful businessman “celebrating his wealth via social media platforms, in an attempt to lure victims from all over the world,” Dubai Police CID chief Brig Jamal Al Jalaf said.
A senior prosecutor told The National: “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.
“Initial information includes that he was part of this gang which fraudulently obtained cash and cars from people.
“His statement was taken by prosecution but this is just the beginning of prosecution investigations.”
Abbas was wanted for fraud in Europe, the US and Nigeria. According to Nigerian media, Abbas was extradited to the US state of Pennsylvania this week.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 25, 2020