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Hushpuppi defrauded 1,926,400 persons, made N168bn – Dubai police

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The Dubai Police Force, United Arab Emirates, has revealed how it arrested Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi.

In a video released on its official Twitter handle on Thursday, the police said a special team had been tracking the suspect and his gang’s activities on the social media for about four months.

The DPF revealed that upon the arrest of Hushpuppi and 12 other members of his crew, including Olalekan Ponle, aka Woodberry, they discovered that fraud amounting to 1.6 billion dirham (N168bn) had been perpetrated  by the gang.

No fewer than 1,926,400 persons from different parts of the world were also said to have fallen victim to the suspects.

According to the police, 13 luxury cars, estimated at 35 million dirham (N3.7bn) were recovered from the house, where the suspects were arrested.

The Dubai police said the raid, carried out on June 10, 2020, was dubbed: Fox Hunt 2.

While footage of the operation played, a narrator said, “In less than just four months, the Dubai Police Force was able to solve the new operation dubbed: Fox Hunt 2, where 12 other gang members were also arrested.

“Six raids were carried out simultaneously, while the suspects were sleeping in their Dubai residences. After months of investigating and hours of monitoring the gang’s social media accounts, a team of highly-trained Dubai police officers were able to confirm the gang’s whereabouts and fraudulent activities.

“The Nigerian Instagram celebrity, who was arrested on multiple fraud charges for crimes committed in different parts of the world, boasted about his wealth and expensive possession on social media, claiming he is a successful businessman.

“Little did Abass (Hushpuppi) know that the Dubai E-police were tracking his every move and taking note of all his social media activities.”

On how the suspects operated, the police said Hushpuppi and his team usually created fake pages for existing websites and redirected victims’ payments to their own accounts.

The Dubai police also said they discovered that the gang specialised in hacking corporate emails and sending fake messages to clients in order to redirect financial transfers and bank details to their own accounts.

“Before their arrest, Abass (Hushpuppi) and his crew members were responsible for scams amounting to 1.6 billion dirham. The police officers were also able to seize items worth 150 million dirham after they claimed 21 computers, 47 smartphones, 15 storage devices and five hard disks containing data.

“Additionally, 13 luxury cars worth 25 million dirham were bought by Hushpuppi and his gang using the money stolen from people who had been scammed.”

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Entertainment

Hollywood Actress Naya Rivera Dies at 33, Body Recovered From Lake Piru

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Naya Rivera

Hollywood actress, Naya Rivera’s body has been recovered from the Southern California lake where she disappeared while on a boat outing with her 4-year-old son.

The 33-year-old actress Naya Rivera, best known for playing a sharp-tongued cheerleader and glee club member on Fox’s hit musical comedy-drama “Glee,” was found dead on Monday morning 13th July 2020, after an extensive search at Lake Piru in Ventura County.

At an afternoon press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said he was “confident” that the body found floating on the lake was that of Rivera, who went missing Wednesday. Her 4-year-old son, Josey, was discovered on Wednesday night sleeping alone on a boat his mother had rented for them that afternoon.

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Nollywood Actress Ruth Kadiri Criticizes People Mocking Will Smith

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A pictureof Ruth Kadiri

In reaction to the ”Entanglement” scandal of Hollywood actor Will Smith and wife Pinket Smith, Nollywood actress, and screenwriter Ruth Kadiri has emphasized the importance of forgiveness in a relationship while dissing criticizers of such act.

Ruth Kadiri in an Instagram post on Monday, July 13, 2020, called the attention of the world to the fact that it was mostly African men who mocked Will Smith for forgiving his wife.

She also has a message for the women who laughed at the couple’s situation, see quote and post below:

“Have you noticed that its mostly African men who ridiculed Will Smith for forgiving his wife’s situation. To the women who laugh at Will and her situation, you know you wish you had a man who got you like that, but you don’t and shit hurts,” she wrote.

Recall, a few weeks ago, August Alsina had revealed that he had a romantic relationship with Pinkett.

Pinkett confirmed that she was involved romantically with Alsina.

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American court denies Hushpuppi bail

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Alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Ray Hushpuppi, was on Monday denied bail by a court in the Northern District of Illinois.

The self-acclaimed ‘Billionaire Gucci Master’, who has over 2.5 million followers on Instagram, will remain in detention until his trial later this year over money laundering allegations, the court said.

Hushpuppi will be transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service, and will not be allowed to stay with his girlfriend’s uncle in Homewood, Illinois. His trial is slated to be held in Los Angeles where the case was filed, rather than from Chicago where the investigation is being handled, Forbes reports.

Throughout the hearing, Hushpuppi’s lawyer denied that his client was a flight risk or a danger to the community, repeatedly rejecting the allegations made against his client by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s affidavit posted earlier this month.

The primary allegation leveled by the FBI is that Abbas was part of a network that made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from business email compromise frauds and other scams.

Assistant United States Attorney Melody Wells, a prosecutor in the Chicago district attorney’s office, convinced the court that Abbas is a flight risk, describing his “significant” financial assets, “deep ties to foreign countries” and a lack of ties to the United States.

Wells said Abbas had the “perfect recipe to flee the charges that he faces here.”

Hushpuppi had sought to live with a girlfriend’s relative in Illinois, but this was queried by the prosecutor, arguing that he had up to this point “never visited” the girlfriend or their child in the US.

“There is no evidence that he has ever even met this ‘Uncle’ who would be the third-party custodian under these circumstances,” Wells said.

The court ruled that there was “more than enough justification to order that the US Marshall bring Abbas to California as soon as possible to answer the complaint there.”

Ruling that Abbas had “A great incentive not to continue to respond to these proceedings here,” as he is “facing a long sentence”.

Last week Abbas’ lawyer Gal Pissetzky told Forbes that his client is, “Absolutely not guilty of the charges they are accusing him of,” describing Abbas as “an entrepreneur” who made his money legitimately through “real estate” and his work “promoting brands” as an “Instagram personality.”

At the hearing Pissetzky told the court that his client posed no flight risk because of the damage it would do to his credibility online, adding that “he is loved and respected. He is a celebrity. He would not want to ruin his credibility and status rather than stay here and face these allegations.”

Adding support to the claim that Abbas pays for his lifestyle through promoting designer products on social media, Pissetzky argued: “Mr Abbas is an Instagram personality. A social media personality. Of course, he poses with high price items because that’s what he gets paid to do.

“That’s what he has built from growing up very poor in Nigeria, he was able to develop himself into this very well-known personality with millions of followers on Instagram. He is an influencer — that is what my kids would call him — an influencer.

“And people seeing him with these Louis Vuitton bags or clothes, or Gucci bags and clothes, or these fancy cars and they go and want it. They wanna buy it. That’s a job today. As much as it’s hard to imagine — that’s a full-time job.”

Pissetzky made no mention of the claim on the “Hushpuppi” Instagram feed that Abbas works as a “real estate developer.”

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