Dubai Police have seized Dh150 million ($40.9m) in cash and more than a dozen luxury cars in the arrest of an Instagram celebrity accused of online fraud and money laundering.
In a video shared by the police, officers explained how they arrested Nigerian gang leader Raymond Abbas, known as Hushpuppi.
Hushpuppi’s principal scam was to create websites that looked identical to well-known companies and banks, it is alleged.
He and his accomplices then used emails and messages to prompt people to log in or make payments on the fake sites.
The gang hacked corporate emails and directed huge payments by companies towards accounts they controlled.
Olalekan Jacob Ponle, known as Woodberry, was also arrested along with ten other men in a operation involving six police SWAT teams.
Along with 13 luxury cars, valued at an estimated Dh25m ($6.8m), police confiscated 21 computers and 47 smartphones.
The gang had 119,580 “fraud files” as well as addresses of more than 1.92 million victims.
Police said email addresses for 800,000 potential victims were discovered, and that the gang could have scammed as much as Dh1.6 billion from victims. Officers dubbed the operation Fox Hunt 2, after busting an African cyber crime gang running a similar scam in February 2019, in which Dh32 million ($8.7 million) was stolen from victims.
Hushpuppi posed as a real estate investor and businessman, with more than two million followers on Instagram.
His account shows a lavish display of wealth, landing at Atlantis, The Palm in a helicopter and flying across the globe by private yet.
In one image he poses with his lime green Brabus Mercedes-AMG G63 – which retails in Europe for close to half a million dollars – wearing a lime green tracksuit to match.