United States District Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California has said that Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi, bribed a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, Abba Kyari, to arrest and jail an estranged ‘co-conspirator,’ Chibuzo Vincent.
The super cop however denied the allegations on Thursday, but admitted facilitating purchase of N300,000 native clothings for the billionaire fraudster.
A statement by the court on Wednesday titled, “Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds”, said Hushpuppi used Kyari, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, to jail Vincent.
Hushpuppi, a suspected billionaire fraudster known for his luxury lifestyle, was arrested in the UAE last year and extradited to the US for alleged hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud and identity theft.
The court said Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with five others, Chibuzo Vincent, 40; Yusuf Anifowoshe, 26; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34; and Abdulrahman Juma, 28, from Kenya to defraud a businessperson in Qatar by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school.
Vincent 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.”
The statement further said that Hushpuppi and his co-conspirators allegedly defrauded the victim of more than $1.1m and laundered the proceeds of the fraud in several ways.
“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.”
The statement said Hushpuppi allegedly hunted Vincent after a dispute broke out among the team. This prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas (Hushpuppi) 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 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, 2021, and are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles in August 2021.
However, reacting to the allegation in a statement on Thursday, Kyari said Hushpuppi called him two years ago that somebody (Vincent) in Nigeria threatened to kill his family 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 longtime friends who have money issues between them, hence we released the Suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail,” he said. “Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.”
Kyari, however, admitted he helped Husspuppi to facilitate the buying of a native cap and clothes at the cost of N300,000, which he said was sent to the bank details of the seller.