A deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Abba Kyari, has denied reports that he received money from alleged internet fraudster, Hushpuppi, who is currently facing trial in the United States, to do his bidding.
Hushpuppi, real name, Abbas Akande had told a US court that he paid Kyari some money to arrest a fellow fraudster, Vincent after a $1.1 million deal went wrong.
But Kyari while reacting to the allegation in a statement on his Facebook page admitted that Hushpuppi actually sent N300,000, but that the money was for some cloths he (Hushpuppi) wanted to buy from his (Kyari’s) designer.
Kyari said Hushpuppi called his office about two years ago and reported a death threat from someone.
The cop said the suspect, who was later identified as Vincent, was arrested but released after investigations revealed that “they are long time friends who have money issues between themselves”.
Kyari said, “Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about 2years ago that somebody in Nigeria Seriously threatened to kill his Family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s Phone number and pleaded we take action before the Person attacks his family.
“We traced and arrested the Suspect and after investigations, we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life and they are long-time friends who have money issues between them, hence we released the Suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.
“Later, he saw some of my Native Clothes and Caps on my social media page and he said he likes them and he was connected to the person selling the clothes and he sent about N300k directly to the person’s account. The Native Clothes and Caps (5 sets) were brought to our office and He sent somebody to Collect them in our office.
“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on a threat to his family and released the Suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the Suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive, he can be contacted.
“For those who are celebrating that this is an indictment on us and mentioning some fictitious Big Money, They will be disappointed once again as our hands are clean and our record of Service for 2 decades is open for everybody to See. They will continue seeing us serving our fatherland and we will Continue responding to ALL distress Calls from ALL Nigerians provided they are life-threatening.”
Meanwhile, according to the court documents from the office of the United States Attorney in the Central District of California, Hushpuppi, who recently pleaded guilty to various charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, and felony, among others, explained how he used Kyari, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, to jail Vincent.
The document released Wednesday and titled, ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’, disclosed that Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with five others, including Vincent, to defraud a Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school.
According to the document, Hushpuppi’s associates included 40-year-old Vincent from Nigeria; 28-year-old Abdulrahman Juma from Kenya, 26-year-old Yusuf Anifowoshe; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34.
However, Hushpuppi allegedly hunted Vincent after a dispute broke out among the team.
Also, the document revealed that a dispute which broke out among members of the team allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim to notify him that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud.
Furthermore, the document revealed that after the contact, Abbas allegedly arranged and paid Kyari to have Vincent arrested and jailed in Nigeria, and afterward sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest and bank account details into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
The indictment stated that Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Hushpuppi played the role of ‘Malik’, a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents.
“Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line,” it read.
The statement from the US Department of Justice read in full:
“Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds
“Nigerian National Known as ‘Hushpuppi’ Admits Money Laundering in School Financing Scam and Additional Cyber and Business Email Compromise Schemes.
“A federal grand jury indictment unsealed this week alleges an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar – and the subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.
“The three-count indictment returned on April 29 and unsealed Monday charges three U.S.-based defendants who were arrested last week – as well as three defendants believed to be in Africa – with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
“The criminal complaint that initiated the prosecution in February was also unsealed Monday, revealing that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas – also known by his social media handle of “Ray Hushpuppi” – was initially charged in this case. Court documents ordered unsealed today show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20. A version of Abbas’ plea agreement filed late Tuesday outlines his role in the school-finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses.
“The defendants allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “Mr. Abbas, who played a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means. In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will identify and prosecute perpetrators of business email compromise scams, which is a massive and growing international crime problem.
“Mr. Abbas, among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “His celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organizations and led to several spin-off schemes in the U.S. and abroad. Today’s announcement deals a crucial blow to this international network and hopefully serves as a warning to potential victims targeted with this type of theft.
“According to the indictment, Abbas allegedly conspired with Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, a.k.a. “Abdul,” 28, of Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, of Nigeria, to defraud the Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of the planned school. Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Abbas played the role of “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents. Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line.
“Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, a.k.a. “AJ,” 26, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly played a role in the fraud, assisting Abbas with a call to the victim posing as “Malik.” Special agents with the FBI arrested Anifowoshe in New York on July 22.
“The conspirators allegedly defrauded the victim out of more than $1.1 million.
“The proceeds of the fraud allegedly were laundered in several ways. According to the indictment, Abbas was assisted in laundering the proceeds of the fraud by Rukayat Motunraya Fashola, a.k.a. “Morayo,” 28, of Valley Stream, New York, and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka, a.k.a. “Bolamide,” 34, of Linden, New Jersey. These two defendants also were arrested on July 22 by FBI agents.
“Approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds allegedly were used to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand-delivered to Abbas in Dubai and subsequently appeared in Hushpuppi’s social media posts. Other illicit proceeds from the scheme were allegedly converted into cashier’s checks, including $50,000 in checks that were used by Abbas and a co-conspirator to fraudulently acquire a St. Christopher and Nevis citizenship, as well as a passport for Abbas obtained by creating a false marriage certificate and then bribing a government official in St. Kitts.
“Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria. According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
“Anifowoshe, Fashola and Agbabiaka were arrested in New York and New Jersey on July 22, and they are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles in August. All three are currently free on bond.
“A criminal complaint and an indictment contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Both conspiracies counts alleged in the indictment carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison term.
“The FBI is investigating this matter as part of Operation Top Dog. The FBI thanks the government of the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai Police Department for their substantial assistance in this matter. The FBI also thanks the Kenyan Office of Attorney General, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Directorate of Criminal Investigations for their substantial assistance.
“This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Khaldoun Shobaki of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.”
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