HUSHPUPPI HAS been accused of conspiring with North Korean hackers to launder more than $1.3bn (£926,997,500) from companies and banks in the US and other countries, American federal prosecutors said.
The Nigerian social media influencer, also known as Ramon Olorwuna Abbas, has been accused of helping three computer hackers based in North Korea to steal funds from companies, including one in Malta in February 2019.
Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said in a statement on February 17: “North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers.”
37-year-old Hushpuppi is known for regularly showcasing his luxury lifestyle on Instagram to his 2.5 million followers.
He is alleged to have worked with Ghaleb Alaumary, also aged 37. Alaumary is a Canadian who has been charged with stealing millions of dollars from cash machines in Pakistan, India and the US, prosecutors say.
The Nigerian national was arrested in July last year in another separate case.
He was extradited from Dubai to the U.S. where he was charged with “laundering hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a US law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club,” according to the Justice Department.