By Taiwo Alabi
All you need to know about billionaire fraudster, Raymond Igbalode Abass, who was recently arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United States to face charges bordering on fraud.
1. He was born Ramon Olorunwa Abbas on 11 October 1982, but changed his name to Raymond Igbalode Abass. He is popularly known as Ray Hushpuppi on social media platforms.”
2. He is a Dubai-based Nigerian fraudster also known Yahoo-Yahoo. He became wealthy when he relocated to Malaysia before settling down in Dubai when he started to gain attention on social media.
3. He is popular for his ostentatious lifestyle and flaunting his stolen wealth with no sign of any legal business. He has a taste for good things as he is highly fashionable.
4. Posts on his Instagram account suggest a lavish lifestyle, with images of him taking trips on a private jet, wearing Louis Vuitton tracksuits, Richard Mille watch, and posing outside the Four Seasons hotel in Paris.
5. He once hawked bread and sold second-hand clothes on the streets of Lagos.
6. Hushpuppi once revealed that he used to be a heavy gambler.
7. A social media influencer, with more than two million followers on Instagram, he used that account to project a billionaire’s luxurious lifestyle to attract followers and lure in potential victims.
8. But he once said he posted photos of his lavish lifestyle on Instagram to help inspire others. “I post a few of these things so that someone can see my page someday and decide not to give up,” he once wrote in a post.
9. His Instagram account is well-known for its over-the-top luxury and him posing next to helicopters and supercars.
10. He is reportedly worth $400 million siphoned from over 1.3 million people across the globe.
11. Hushpuppi was fond of engaging in social media fights with celebrities in the past, including Davido. Some people have compared his wealth to that of Davido.
12. He took to his Snapchat to shade Davido and his crew after he spent over N11.5m in a club.
13. He is known to have hung out with celebrities such as Alex Iwobi, Daddy Freeze, Wizkid, Dino Melaye and Tammy Abraham.
14. Many believed he had a Rolls Royce, the latest Range Rover and some cars, love travelling in private jets and buying drinks worth of millions in the club.
15. He is also a Gucci lover and had a lot of Gucci shoes and clothes.
16. To mark his 35th birthday in 2017, popular Italian luxury brand, Gucci, gifted him a birthday cake. Posting pictures of the cake, he wrote, “Thanks so much @gucci for this special. God bless you guys at the Dubai Mall Gucci Store!!!”
17. He admitted to fathering a child in 2013 who he said he would like to set up an account for “in case anything happened to me tomorrow.”
18. Security operatives once “threw “ Hushpuppi off stage during Wizkid’s performance at an event in Dubai.
19. Daddy Freeze once interviewed Hushpuppi in Dubai. In the interview Daddy Freeze laughed when Hushpuppi said his driver earned more than a Nigerian Local Government Chairman. Many Nigerians have criticized Daddy Freeze for that.
20. Hushpuppi often posted pictures with his luxury cars like Ferrari and Rolls Royce and a private jet.
21. Before his arrest, he posed as a real estate investor and businessman.
22. There were also reports by some of his old friends that his father was a taxi driver in Nigeria.
23. He is accused of creating websites that appear identical to those of well-known companies and banks. People were sent emails and messages that prompted them to log in or make payments on the fake sites.
24. A video of a wedding in Dubai attended by Nigerian celebrities, which made headlines in his home country, showed Mr Abbas dancing as he threw $100 notes into the air.
25. He was arrested alongside Olalekan Jacob Ponle, aka Woodberry, and 10 other men in an operation that involved six police teams.
26. When a combined team of officers from the FBI, Interpol and Dubai police swooped on his apartment in Dubai in an early morning raid, they found him sleeping.
27. They also found more than 150 million dirham (£30 million) in his apartment.
28. Officers say they found the email addresses of nearly two million victims on dozens of phones, computers and hard drives.
29. Also seized in the arrest were 12 luxury cars valued at $6.8 million, 21 Computer Devices, 47 Smartphones, 15 memory sticks and five hard disks containing “119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of 1,926,400 victims.”
30. It took Dubai police less than four months to crack the case. In the end, 12 gang members of Hushpuppi’s were also arrested.
31. A large proportion of his alleged victims reside in the US. He is also accused of committing fraud in Europe, America and Nigeria.
32. Hushpuppi’s arrest reportedly came after he added a white Rolls Royce to his fleet of luxury cars.
33. The Nigerian anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, once branded Hushpuppi as “Nigerian most-wanted hacker” and was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in tracing victims of his alleged fraudulent transactions.
34. He was extradited to the United States after his arrest in Dubai to face criminal charges.
35. US Federal prosecutors officially charge him for fraud, says he tried to steal $124 million from an English Premier League Club, and risks 20 years in US prison if convicted. Read his full charges here.