Hushpuppi paid IGP’s team leader Abba Kyari to jail associate –US
The United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California says that Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, paid a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, Abba Kyari, to arrest and jail an estranged ‘co-conspirator,’ Chibuzo Vincent.
This was contained in a statement released on Wednesday by the court titled, ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’.
Kyari did not respond to our correspondent’s enquiry seeking his response to the American court’s allegation as of the time of publishing this report.
The court said Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to various charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, and felony, among others, used Kyari, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, to jail Vincent.
According to the indictment, Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with five others — including Vincent — 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.
Hushpuppi’s associates include 40-year-old Vincent from Nigeria; and 28-year-old Abdulrahman Juma from Kenya.
Others are Yusuf Anifowoshe, 26; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34.
However, Hushpuppi allegedly hunted Vincent after a dispute broke out among the team.
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.
In a statement published via his verified Facebook page hours later, Kyari said Hushpuppi called his office some 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 them”.
Hushpuppi and the five others allegedly defrauded the victim of more than $1.1m and laundered the proceeds of the fraud in several ways, the document noted.
“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.”
Continuing, the court document states that, “Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly 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 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.”
Meanwhile, 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.
In a plea agreement document sighted by The PUNCH on Wednesday, Hushpuppi pleaded guilty as charged.
The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; and Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, among others.
It stated that Hushpuppi risks “20 years’ imprisonment; a three-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence.”
The document, however, did not mention the date of the plea hearing.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the 37-year-old was arrested in Dubai in June 2020 alongside 12 associates.
The Dubai Police said it discovered that fraud amounting to 1.6 billion Dirham (N168 billion) had been committed by the gang.
No fewer than 1,926,400 people 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 they were arrested.
The Dubai Police later handed Hushpuppi and others over to the FBI in the US and they had since been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.
Hushpuppi is known to have flaunted his luxury lifestyle appearing in private jets with exotic wines and expensive watches adorning his wrist. His social media handles were replete with photos of his ostentatious lifestyle before his arrest
MY HANDS ARE CLEAN
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, says he knows nothing about a $1m fraud allegation involving alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi.
On his verified Facebook page on Thursday, Kyari, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’ Intelligence Response Team, said those celebrating his alleged indictment will be disappointed because his hands are clean.
He also narrated his encounter with Hushpuppi about two years ago, saying the latter called his office and reported a death threat from someone.
The cop said the suspect, who was identified as Chibuzo Vincent, was arrested but later released after investigations revealed that “they are long time friends who have money issues between them”.
See Mr Kyari’s full post below.
Friends: 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 for 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 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 father land and we will Continue responding to ALL distress Calls from ALL Nigerians provided they are life threatening.