Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a. Hushpuppi

Nigerian aids hackers to launder money stolen from Maltese bank, ATMs, crypto ─US

*The United States judicial officials have alleged that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a Nigerian social-media celebrity and Instagram star, also known as ‘Hushpuppi’, helped North Korean hackers to launder money stolen from a Maltese bank among other cybercrimes

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

From hacking computers and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), attempted theft of nearly $1billion from Bangladeshi Central Bank and stealing cryprocurrencies, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas (widely known as Hushpuppi, Hush or Ray Hushpuppi) played a supporting role in cyber-scams perpetrated by three computer programmers accused of extorting more than $1.3 billion of cash and cryptocurrency, says US Justice Department February 17, 2021.

Abbas, who is currently is in US custody while awaiting trial, has 2.5 million followers on Instagram, where he regularly posted photographs posing with luxury cars or boarding private jets.

Hushpuppi faces criminal charges in the US   Photo: Casefileng

According to John Demers, Head of Justice Department’s National Security Division, after unsealing the indictment of Jon Chang Hyok, Kim Il and Park Jin Hyok, said North Korean state operatives “are the world’s leading bank robbers.”

The trio and other unidentified North Koreans were involved in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in 2014, and the attempted theft of nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016, US Government stated.

The prosecutors noted that in recent times, the criminal group has focused on stealing cryptocurrencies, agency report said.

The hackers purportedly turned to a network, including Abbas “to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist” from an unidentified Maltese bank in February 2019, American officials stated.

The Justice Department said the Nigerian worked with a Canadian, Ghaleb Alaumary, who US officials accused of organising teams to launder millions of Dollars stolen by hacking automated teller machines (ATMs), including from BankIslami in Pakistan and a bank in India.

Alaumary, 37, began cooperating with US authorities October 2019, and secretly signed a plea agreement last November, according to court papers unsealed in Los Angeles, in the US, February 17.

It is recalled that Abbas was extradited in July from Dubai to the US where he faces criminal charges of allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of Dollars from “business e-mail compromise” frauds and other scams.

Gal Pissetzky, Abbas’s former lawyer, told Forbes July 2020 that he was “absolutely not guilty” of those charges and hadn’t taken part in any fraud.

Pissetzky and Abbas’s other lawyer both quit the defence January 2021, according to report.

The Nigerian was part of a group that allegedly tricked a paralegal at a US law firm into wiring them almost $923,000 October 2019, US authorities disclosed.

He and a partner also are being accused of plotting to steal 100 million Pounds ($125 million) from an unnamed soccer club in the English Premier League.

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