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Hushpuppi wearing bow tie and carrying low-cut hair.
Hushpuppi in 2019
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas

(1982-10-11) October 11, 1982 (age 39)[5]
NationalityNigerian, Kittian[6]
Other namesHushpuppi, Hush, Ray Hushpuppi, The Billionaire Gucci Master
Alma materGovernment College, Ikorodu
Socialite, philanthropist
Years active2008 - 2020
Known forBusiness email compromise, money laundering accusations and Entertainment
ChildrenDior Hushpuppi

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas (born October 11, 1982) popularly known as Hushpuppi is a Nigerian socialite and philanthropist who is facing criminal charges in the United States for conspiracy to launder money obtained from business email compromise, cyber scams, frauds and other scams, including schemes that defrauded a U.S. law firm of about $1M, illegally transferred $14.7M from a foreign financial institution and targetted to steal $124M from an English Premier League football club.[7][8][9][10][11] Though Abbas’ lawyer Gal Pissetzky told Forbes that his client is “absolutely not guilty of the charges they are accusing him of,” describing Abbas as “an entrepreneur who made his money legitimately through real estate” and his work “promoting brands as an Instagram personality”. Yet, Abbas was denied bail and a chance to stay with his girlfriend uncle in Illinois. At the detention hearing, a court in the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Abbas will be transported to Los Angeles by the U.S. Marshals Service, and will not be allowed to stay with his girlfriend’s uncle in Homewood, Illinois. But, since his trial was slated to be held in Los Angeles where the case was filed, instead of Chicago where the investigation is being handled. A judge in Chicago told Forbes that, Abbas was detained in MCC prison until July 20, 2020 when he was transferred to Los Angles to face his trial over money laundering allegations.[4] But in October 2020, according to the chambers orders of Judge Otis Wright released September 23, the jury trial will continue by 9:00 a.m. on May 4, 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.[12] However, in January 2021, based on court documents in their possession a local news media Premium Times Nigeria reported that Hushpuppi's lawyers Gal Pissetzky and Vicki Podberesky have applied to withdraw from the case after about five months of negotiations with the US government on grounds that Mr Abbass stopped communicating with them and has now retained new lawyers to defend him in the case.[13]

Until his arrest by the Dubai Police in June 2020 and his extradition to the United States in July 2, Abbas 'Hushpuppi' had a global following of over 2.5 million followers on Instagram where he posted pictures and videos of his lavish spending on exotic cars, watches, designer clothes, bags from luxury brands like Gucci, Versace, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana and of himself boarding helicopters, with celebrities, footballers and Nigerian politicians or while on chartered jets.[1][2]

Abbas 'Hushpuppi' holds a passport from St Kitts and Nevis,[6] and claimed to be a real estate developer as well as a legitimate brands ambassador.[1] However, If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas 'Hushpuppi' would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison after which he will be deported to Nigeria.

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Background[edit source | edit]

If dictionaries or web-based knowledge sources exist to serve as repositories of humanity’s lived experiences and history, then Nigeria stands apart as one of the few countries to have a specific criminality named after it. Per these sources, there is a Nigerian scam that originates from and is fiercely identifiable to Nigeria. These scams are partly defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI).[14][15]

Nigerian scammers first gained notoriety for defrauding Westerners in the 1990s through advance-fee schemes that became known as “419”, after the section of the Nigerian penal code that combats such crimes.[16] In the internet era, the cons evolved into email fraud, phishing...

In 2019 FBI arrested Obinwanne Okeke, a more refined Nigerian fraudster who, posing as a successful entrepreneur, was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 magazine cover, spoke at the London School of Economics Africa Summit and was lauded by the BBC as a “rising star”. Two weeks before Abbas appeared in court in Chicago, Okeke pleaded guilty to an $11 million fraud scheme.[17][18][19][20][21][22] Thus, the two (Abbas 'Hushpuppi' and Okeke’s) arrests in such a short time for the related crimes signals an evolution of the global online fraud perpetuated by Yahoo boys, a local name in Nigeria for cyber criminals.[21]

And Nigeria is ranked 26 out of 100 (zero is highly corrupt) in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.[23]

Early life[edit source | edit]

Ramon Abbas 'Hushpuppi' was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He would later emigrate to Malaysia in his early twenties in search of greener pastures, and to the United Arab Emirates where he would live till his arrest, while his family remains in Nigeria. According to his former friend Ismailia Mustapha (alias Mompha), Ramon's 'Hushpuppi's' father Olorunwa Abass was a taxi driver and his mother a bread seller in Lagos, and both from Nigeria. And that, he and Abbas 'Hushpuppi' had their secondary school education in Government College, Ikorodu, Lagos State.[24] Many news platforms also reported that Abbas was once a second-hand clothes seller in Lagos.[25][26] Some of his social posts (the earlier ones) suggests Ramon Abbas isn't from a wealthy family and that his displayed affluent on Instagram and Snapchat began in diaspora. Abbas prided himself on his humble beginnings on Instagram. He is known to put inspirational captions on his posts. In one of his posts quoted below, its suggest Ramon Abbas' understanding of a tough beginning.

As a man that I am today who developed from being one of you guys, who went through the same struggles you are presently going through, who had to run and jump hurdles where other kids just walk past the same situation in a better environment with better resources and much provisions, I know the society do not expect you to make it, the government don't care about your future, they toy and joke around making rules and laws that only affect you and benefit the rich. You lack everything it requires to become who you might have loved to be, do the things you would have loved to do or to live the life you may have seen on tv or the internet, which I know you even have limited access to because there's never power supply for such, which means you are deprived most of the things that can be learnt through tv and internet in the first place which makes your dreams smaller, quicker to fade away but I want you to know that darkness you are, without the dark, the stars won't shine and so you can shine out if that darkness.

You have been deprived so many right a child deserves and the world look down on you because you are nothing but a clot of blood miraculously turned a baby, and an unfortunate one at that. Good health, good foods or good education hasn't been in any way your chance to have. Looking at you disgusts not your brethren only but even strangers are not so impressed for your unhealthy appearance. Your strength; courage; and dreams are nothing but hallucination just because you were not supposed to dream big.

I am sure nobody ever believed in whatever you say or do. You have been victimized by neighbors; friends; and even family members who were supposed to give you hope. This is my story, this is me and this is the hushpuppi you have been hearing about. The Ghetto kid in me is at Its peak and ready to explode and spread around the globe. I am you and you are me. I represent every under priviledge kid of the world and especially of Nigeria and of Lagos and of Bariga and of Oworonsoki -- Where a landlord had chased me and my family out of a rented room. I'll never forget the look on my mother's face trying to send me and my...

— Hushpuppi, Letter to the Ghetto Kid[27]

In an exclusive post in which it interviewed old neighbours of Mr Abbas, reported that Abbas had a reputation as a 'Yahoo boy' a local name for a cyber criminal, was not supported by his mother, had not lifted any of his old friends from poverty and had ignored multiple warnings regarding his lifestyle in diaspora.[28] He is the subject of a 2017 song 'Telli Person' by Nigerian singer Timaya featuring Olamide and Phyno, with whom he had a long running feud. The song contained lyrics directed towards Abbas 'Hushpuppi' indirectly accusing him of being a swindler and lavishing his money on designer clothes instead of investing in profitable ventures and warning him that he might soon be caught by authorities.[29] Many Nigerians have come to viewed the song as a prophetic warning that was fulfilled with his arrest by Dubai Police in June 2020.[30]

Personal life[edit source | edit]

Until his arrest Ramon Abbas 'Hushpuppi' lives in Dubai with his friend Woodberry without their family nor pet, and frequently visits Malaysia but less frequently Lagos Nigeria. The suspect usually puts inspirational captions beneath his posts in a bid to “encourage hard work among youths” or to lure more of his victims.

In 2013, he admitted on a Instagram comment to fathering a child Dior Hushpuppi who he said he would like to set up a bank account for “in case anything happened to me tomorrow.”[1]

According to a marriage document in possession of Saint Kitts' government, Hushpuppi married Shawana Nakesia Chapman, a 32 year old citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis by birth and the United States of America in October 2018 in Nigeria, thereby conferring him with the right to St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, which was granted to him in February 2020 by virtue of his marriage.[6]

Abbas 'Hushpuppi' isn't a fan of Facebook or Twitter and never signup on those two. Many initially assumed that it might be because these other social platforms are more of text than visual, but in light of his alleged fraudulent activity, he may have had another reason to shunned them as these two have embedded sophisticated tracking capabilities.[citation needed] Probably unknown to him that most other social platforms also have these capabilities.[3]

During their feud in 2019, Abbas never official responded to insults from his former friend Ismailia (Morpha) who embarked on the later. And Morpha will go on to revealed some of Abbas 'Hushpuppi's personal life that are now known to the public in numerous hate speeches, like Hushpuppi's father being a taxi driver.[31]

Ramon Abbas 'Hushpuppi' is an auto enthusiast, but that might be an understatement: on Instagram he's been seen with various fleets of luxury automobile such as a 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Ferrari 458 Italia, Bentley Bentayga SUV, Rolls-Royce Wraith, Bugatti...(see gallery) Abbas also has a thing for luxury brands especially the Italian brand Gucci, which have earned him an alias Gucci Master.[32] But, there's no evidence that he was a brand ambassador of Gucci. Other brands Hushpuppi patronizes are Versace, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana.

Abbas also like posting photographs of himself boarding helicopters, with celebrities, footballers and Nigerian politicians or while on chartered jets.[1][2]

Arrest[edit source | edit]

Hushpuppi arrest.jpg

In an operation dubbed "Fox Hunt 2", Hushpuppi apartment at the Palazzo Versace in Dubai was raided at midnight by interpol and Hushpuppi was arrested alongside eleven others in six simultaneous raids, Police recovered more than 150 million dirham (about $40 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars worth Dh25 million ($7M), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives that contain 119,580 fraud files - addresses of nearly two million alleged victims and 800,000 emails of potential victims alongside suitcases full of cash.[33][34]

Hushpuppi's gang[34]

The Hushpuppi arrest was part of a United States’ FBI investigation that indicted Hushpuppi as one of the kingpins of a transnational cybercrime network specializing in Business Email Compromise (BEC) - a fast-growing form of cyber-fraud that involves hacking corporate emails and sending fake messages to clients in order to redirect financial transfers and steal bank details.[2][3] Thus, Hushpuppi was extradited to face trial in the United States.


Hushpuppi's lawyer, Gal Pissetzky told the BBC that the United States had no authority to transport his client from Dubai. "In my opinion, the FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so," Mr Pissetzky told the BBC.[35] "There was no extradition, there were no legal steps taken, there were no court documents filed, it was simply a call to the FBI. He is not a citizen of the United States, the US had absolutely no authority to take him." But the Dubai police said in a Facebook post that the FBI director had thanked them for extraditing the two men. "You'll have to ask them about why they called it an extradition," a Department of Justice spokesman responded in an email to the BBC.[35]

Allegations[edit source | edit]

Upon arriving in California on July 3, 2020, Hushpuppi was accused of conspiring to launder 'hundreds of millions of dollars'. According to an affidavit filed with the complaint by FBI, special agent Andrew John Innocent with the Cyber Crime Squad - between March 2015 to December 2018, Abbas maintains social media accounts that frequently showed him in designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, and posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets.[8]

The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.


The affidavit describes BEC schemes as often involving a computer hacker gaining unauthorized access to a business’ email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent email account to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorized wire transfer.

The affidavit alleges that Abbas and others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of about $922,857 in October 2019. Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators. Abbas and his co-conspirators had laundered $396,050 while one of them was in Los Angeles, California.

The affidavit also alleges that Abbas conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world. Though the affidavit did not name any bank, according to Forbes, the date of the attack and amount mentioned in the affidavit matched that of the attack on Malta's Bank of Valletta in February 2019. In February 2019, $14.7 million was transferred out of the bank through false international transactions to accounts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Hong Kong.[36] The attack was of such seriousness in Malta that then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was forced to address parliament. Multiple sources in Malta including Times of Malta and Malta Today also repeated Forbes's claims that Hushpuppi could have been behind the attack.[37][38] Based on the affidavit, Abbas had provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe that Abbas anticipated each would receive 5 million (about $5.6 million) of the fraudulently obtained funds.

According to the affidavit, other communications between Abbas and one of his co-conspirators (Ponle) indicated that the two had conspired to launder tens, and at times hundreds of millions of dollars that were proceeds of other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (about $124 million) from an English Premier League football club, the complaint alleges.[7]

Abbas is also accused of committing fraud in Nigeria. He is wanted by Nigeria's financial crime police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.[38]

Trial[edit source | edit]


On June 12, 2020 the United States Department of Justice through the U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of California confirmed that, the Nigerian cyber-crime suspects Ramon Abass and his co-conspirator Ponle made their first initial U.S. court appearance in Chicago, where they were trial with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars obtained from cybercrimes.[9]

Hushpuppi inmate number (MCC, Chigaco).jpg

Abbas 'Hushpuppi' was not granted bail in his first court appearance, and was returned to custody in the MCC Chicago, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), FBI special agents custody in Chicago, Illinois USA.[4] A request for his bail and the chance to stay with his girlfriend’s uncle in Homewood, Illinois, was denied on grounds that presented a risk of non-appearance.[39]

At Abbas' detention hearing, his lawyer, Pissetzky told the court that his client posed no flight risk because of the damage it would do to his credibility online, adding, “He is loved and respected. He is a celebrity. He would not want to ruin his credibility and status rather than stay here and face these allegations.” But prosecutors cited his “significant” financial assets, “deep ties to foreign countries” and a lack of ties to the United States.

Hushpuppi released and transfer (MCC, Chigaco to Los Angeles, California).jpg

On July 20, 2020 Abbas was transferred from Chicago to Los Angeles, California to face more trials, meanwhile his status checking with his inmate number (54313-424) on the BOP website indicated 'released', which sparked a bit of confusion whether he was granted bail. Pissetzky in a telephone conversation told the local media news agency Punch that, Abbas transfer to California doesn't implies freedom, and that Hushpuppi still has a criminal case to answer in California.[40]

He has not been released and I am still his lawyer. He is on his way to California. Not everything you see on court documents is accurate. Just because the jail record says ‘released’ does not mean he has been released. He is being transferred to California

— Gal Pissetzky[40]

Abass and his co-conspirator (Ponle) have not yet been asked to plead and are presumed innocent until proven guilty of the changes against them. If Ramon Abbas 'Hushpuppi' is convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison after which he will be deported to Nigeria.

Abass is currently being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.

Reactions to Hushpuppi's Arrest[edit source | edit]

Among Nigerians, reactions to Abbas’s arrest were mixed as some blamed the country’s economic woes for making online scamming attractive, particularly to young Nigerians besieged by rising unemployment in a country where six people fall into extreme poverty every minute.[41][42]

While many would point out, tough economic conditions are no excuse to commit fraud, others however pointed out that both Abbas and Okeke are products of the morally ambiguous modern culture and society enabled by Nigeria’s perennially corrupt political elite, many of whom evade punishment for pilfering public funds. Indicators of this moral ambiguity are seen among those who lauded Abbas and only criticized him for being too ostentatious thereby tipping off the FBI.[43] According to the UK’s Chatham House, an estimated $586 billion has been stolen from Nigeria since its independence. Legislators rotate in and out of office and prison with similar frequency and little damage to their credibility among their party or constituents.[44] For example, in July 2020, Ibrahim Magu the leader of the country’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was suspended over corruption charges.[45][46][47]

While there are hopes the recent arrests will act as a deterrence for more would-be scammers or '419', ordinary Nigerians are especially concerned about the impact these scams continue to have on the reputation of the country and its citizens as they travel abroad, apply for visas and seek international jobs and investors for legitimate businesses. For example, there are reported claims currently that some Dubai companies have begun rejecting Nigerian job applicants.[48]

Frequently Asked Questions[edit source | edit]

Who is Billionaire Gucci Master?[edit source | edit]

Ramon Abbas (popularly known as Hushpuppi) is also called Billionaire Gucci by many because, Hushpuppi has a thing for the Italian luxury brand Gucci, often times he's seen in Gucci branded items, which have earned him an alias Gucci Master. But, there's no evidence that he was a brand ambassador or has ever being considered in such role by Gucci.

Does Hushpuppi has a child?[edit source | edit]

Yes, Hushpuppi's son, his name is Dior Hushpuppi.

Add your question

Gallery[edit source | edit]

In Nigeria, the name 'Hushpuppi' is synonymous to affluent, because of Abbas display of it. Let's see what he's got in his possession, at least what he has made public.

See Also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

References Codes[edit source | edit]

qz [3]

cnn [2]

note [5]

Instagram [1]

bbc.pidgin [11] [9] [8]

forbes [4]

forbes.premier [10] [14]

not.alone [15]

criminal.code [16]

busted [21]

guilty [19]

plead.guilty [20]

okeke.arrest [17]

30under30 [18]

business.summit [22]

unemployed [41]

fall.into [42]

orji.kalu [44]

suspended [45]

magu.suspended [46]

bailed [47]

ticpi [23]

ostentatious [43]

repercussions [48]

ikorodu [24]

second.hand [26]

letter [27]

reputation [28]

feud [29]

song.reaction [30]

cloth.trader [25]

taxi.driver [31]

luxury [32]

arrest1 [33]

arrest2 [34]

arrest3 [35]

globalsentinel [7]

allegation1 [36]

allegation2 [37]

allegation3 [38]

allegation4 [49]

trial1 [39]

trial2 [40]

lead6-stkitts&nobs [6]

trial5-premiumtimes [13]


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 CNN, Faith Karimi. "He flaunted private jets and luxury cars on Instagram. Feds used his posts to link him to alleged cyber crimes". CNN. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Nwoye, Chidinma Irene. "How the FBI used Instagram and Snapchat to track down an alleged conman in Dubai". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Nigerian Influencer Ramon 'Hushpuppi' Abbas, Accused By FBI Of Money Laundering, Is Denied Bail". Forbes.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See his Nigerian passport; edit was made in accordance with corrections from Nairalanders when the earlier version of this article was posted there.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Loshaun Dixon (July 7, 2020). "Govt. Assures Hushpuppi a citizen through Marriage". St Kitts & Nevis Observer. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 globalsentinelnews1 (July 3, 2020). "Hushpupi Arraigned in US Court for Conspiring to Defraud English Premier League Club of $124m (see full charges)". Global Sentinel. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against and arrest warrant for Ramon Olurunwa Abbas, also known as ("aka") "Ray Hushpuppi," aka "Hush", ("ABBASS"), for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering)".
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Nigerian National Brought to U.S. to Face Charges of Conspiring to Launder Hundreds of Millions of Dollars from Cybercrime Schemes". 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dawkins, David. "'Billionaire Gucci Master' Detained By FBI Over Alleged $124 Million Premier League Fraud". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Di big numbers behind Hushpuppi arrest and why e shake Nigeria". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
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  13. 13.0 13.1 Alfred Olufemi (January 26, 2021). "EXCLUSIVE: U.S. lawyers dump Hushpuppi". Premiums Times Nigeria. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
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  20. 20.0 20.1 "Obinwanne 'Invictus Obi' Okeke pleads guilty to fraud in US". Guardian News. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
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  24. 24.0 24.1 "Morpha and Hushpuppi, Who is the richest?". Retrieved December 18, 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Hushpuppi once sold second-hand clothes in Lagos – Report". Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Hushpuppi: Formerly A Second-hand Clothes Seller In Lagos, Now A Billionaire Fraudster". Lagos News. 2020-07-03. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
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  30. 30.0 30.1 "VIDEO: "Hushpuppi Was Warned Before His Arrest" - Fans React To Timaya's Telli Person Video". GhGossip. June 11, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
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  39. 39.0 39.1 "Five reasons Hushpuppi must remain in detention - U.S. Court". July 24, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
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