Ramon Olorunwa Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi, Hush or Ray hushpuppi is a popular Nigerian fraudster, who was known for his lavish and opulent lifestyle and involvements with many popular Nigerian personalities.
Name : Ramon Olorunwa Abbas.
Born : 11th of October 1982.
Place of birth : Ikorodu, Lagos.
Nationality : Nigerian.
Education : Not much known(Probably public schools in Lagos).
Occupation : Instagram Influencer, Fake Real Estate Developer and Fraudster.
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi, Hush or Ray hushpuppi is a popular Nigerian fraudster( popularly called Yahoo Yahoo) who was known for his lavish and opulent lifestyle and involvements with many popular Nigerian personalities. He was known for posting photos and videos of his affluent lifestyle, mostly on Instagram and Snapchat.
Ramon was raised in a low income area of Lagos called Oworonshoki, his parents ,Mr and Mrs Abbas were both low income earners as his father was a taxi driver(popularly called Cabu Cabu)and his mother was a bread and beans seller.
Ramon has a younger brother who is said to have tried venturing into the fraudster business like his older brother, he was however allegedly discouraged from doing so by their mother , Mrs Abbas. She was said to have been afraid of having both her sons getting involved in such dangerous activities , and was said to have warned Ramon(Hushpuppi) against posting his life on Social media.
Ramon is said to be the father of three different children all mothered by three different women, he has also been linked romantically to several women( one of which is his Baby mama). Some of the women he has been linked to includes : Popular Nigerian actress and media personality, Tonto Dike. The two were rumored to have dated shortly in the 2017, after which there was a falling out which led to their unfollowing each other on Instagram.
He was linked to Dubai based Sudanese model , Amirah Dyme, who seemingly also had a fallout with him in respect to social class and status.
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Not much is known about Ramon’s schooling , although it’s presumed that he attended Public schools for his Primary and Secondary school education.
With no official release, his networth has been proposed to being between $15 million – $4billion.
Ramon is said to have struggled badly financially as a young man , having to hustle for cars to wash daily for 100 naira per car and buying food on credit from a popular buka owned by a woman called Mama Dele in his area.
In the early 2000’s , when Hushpuppi was a young man, he was apparently amongst a group of young men that used to visit the newly erected internet cafes that had just been built in Nigeria. These young men were said to have shortly been reported for several crimes like ; extorting money illegally from friends in Chat rooms, and they evolved into doing romance scams, advance fee scams , phishing and so much more.
Hushpuppi moved to Malaysia in 2014 were he continued his scams as a member of a clandestine fraud group , and moved to Dubai in 2017. He was arrested in June 2020 by the Dubai police , he was caught with $40million in cash, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million, 21 computers and 47 smart phones, addresses of allegedly 2million victims, 15 memory storage devices, 5 hard disks containing 119,850 files and 800,000 emails of his potential victims alongside suitcases full of cash.
After his arrest, he was taken by the FBI(Federal Bureau Intelligence) to be trialed and jailed in the USA. Hushpuppi was accused of money laundering and several other fraud related crimes to which he pleaded guilty to all as stated in a court document. Hushpuppi was part of a clandestine criminal operation and was tagged by the FBI as one of the most high profile money launderers in the world. Amongst the targets affected by him and his criminal group included ; a foreign bank, an English premier league and a US law firm.
“Ramon was a member of a transnational criminal club enterprise out of West Africa” said, Augel Baum , a retired FBI special agent. Hushpuppi and his group are responsible for millions and millions of dollars worth of fraud, which is known within the FBI as the Business Email Compromise (BEC).One thing that made Hushpuppi stand out was his excessive flaunting and display of wealth, which ultimately became his downfall.
His former lawyer, called Gal Pissetsky , a Criminal Defense Attorney , described Ramon as a middle man. He claimed Hushpuppi wasn’t the big money launderer that the Newspapers or Government made him out to be . In his opinion, he was just more of a middle man in some instances and most of his alleged schemes didn’t come to fruition.In total, Hushpuppi’s crimes are said to have cost his victims almost $24 million dollars. Another scheme he was said to be involved in was the stealing of a business funding from a person , valued at $1.1million. This funding was for a children’s school in Quatar. He also laundered many illicit funds in banks all over the world.
HOW HUSHPUPPI CARRIED OUT THE CRIMES
The technique mostly used by Hushpuppi was the Business Email Compromise(BEC), he used this technique in particular to carry out a whole lot of scams. Craig Jones , the director of Cyber Crime, INTERPOL described what BEC’s are, he said “ A business email compromise is a type of scam that targets companies and organizations for financial gain or data theft”. How it’s carried out further, is by typically compromising a legitimate email account and then sending fraudulent emails to an addressee requesting transfer of funds or sensitive data. They usually make it quite urgent and put a lot of info obtained from various sources ( e.g social media ) about the target receiver to make it look very authentic.
IMPACT OF BEC’S WORLDWIDE
An FBI crime report for 2020 revealed over $1 billion lost by victims of BEC. There are also lots of reports of cyber crime ventures worldwide, the cyber crime problems globally has grown from a $3 trillion problem to a $6 trillion problem since 2015. It also continues to worsen due to the major victims impacted. The victims are usually senior citizens, small businesses, religious centres and NGO’s.
In Africa , a very steep upward curve over the last 5 – 10 years of internet connectivity has seen a growth in cyber crimes. The levels of cyber crime is also often underreported or not reported at all. Nigeria is currently listed by the FBI ,as the 16th country most affected by cyber crimes worldwide. Recent research by a company called ASARI found out 50% of all BEC attacks worldwide originate from Nigeria.
Currently, Hushpuppi is looking to facing at least 20 years in prison for his crimes. The operation that brought about his arrest was called FOX HUNT2. He was arrested along with 12 other gang members in June 2020. Six raids were carried out simultaneously while all suspects were asleep in their respective Dubai residences.
Before his arrest, Hushpuppi erroneously claimed to be a Real Estate developer. Hushpuppi and his gang would often create fake pages for existing websites to redirect victim payment into their own accounts. However , unknown to him , the Dubai e-police team were tracking his every move and taking note of his social media posts. After months of investigations and monitoring, he was arrested on multiple crime charges for fraud commuted in different parts of the world.
CHALLENGES (Faced By Law Enforcement Officers)
Dr Adeyemi Oyenuga , a Cyber Crime Expert and Criminologist in Nigeria , spoke about the issues arising from scams, in his words he said, “ Cyber crime is evolving every time, because when a particular technique used by the criminals becomes popular, the Law enforcement Agents try to track them down using their technique as a lead, but this techniques are often discarded so quickly by the criminals and it makes tracking them down difficult ”.He also spoke extensively about VPN(Virtual Private Networks), according to him , when cyber criminals realized that they could be tracked from the laptops they used , they then came up with the ideas of using VPNs , later when they realised that some VPNs could also be breached , they graduated to buying logins from the Dark web.
His real name is rumored to be Raymond Igbalode. It’s also said what supposedly angered him and made him go into fraud was the death of his sister, who allegedly died from Malaria and Typhoid when they were younger due to the family’s inability to buy medicines for her. He was rumored to have said his sister died back then because of 3,500 naira.
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