Hushpuppi: Living a lie
I can lay claim to being an above average social media users with the various accounts, with one of them verified.
Although I’m also on Instagram, I can’t claim to be really active on the platform. This is perhaps why the name of the notorious Instagram big boy Hushpuppi who was recently arrested in Dubai along with his gang did not sound familiar when his name started trending on social media.
I mind my business on social media a lot and don’t pay attention to many who are on the platforms for social, more than professional interest.
With over 2.4 million followers on his verified Instagram account Hushpuppi who claims to be a real estate developer in his profile flaunted his supposed wealth to the admiration of his followers until he was arrested last week.
Pictures of his ostentatious lifestyle and properties fill his Instagram account and until he was arrested there was no hint of the false life he lived. Even when there was room to suspect, he covered his track well enough to give the false impression of who he really was.
Hushpuppi and his gang reportedly created fake pages for existing websites in order to redirect victims’ payments to their own accounts.
While he was mesmerising his Instagram followers about his life and purporting to be a successful businessman and his gang hacked corporate emails and sent fake messages to clients in order to redirect financial transfers and people’s bank details to their own accounts.
Other details of his arrest include the fact that he and his gang committed fraud amounting to 1.6 billion dirham (N168bn) and scammed 1, 926, 400 victims.
Thirteen luxury cars worth 25 million Dirhams were bought by Hushpuppi and his gang with the money stolen from people who have been scammed, while the Police seized items worth more than 150 million Dirhams from the gang after taking possession of 21 personal computers, 47 smartphones, 15 flash drives and 5 hard disks.
Contrary to the false image he promoted, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, who was born Ramoni Igbalode was according to the Dubai Police “an international online”.
Those he had always tormented with his supposed wealth on social media now know better that he is nothing but a criminal who made living from defrauding others of their hard earned money.
Unfortunately, he was not satisfied with committing the crime he and his gang were engaged in secret, he had the false confidence that he would not be found out. He forgot that the same way he could use the technology to swindle others, the technology can also be used to track and pick him up as a criminal who he was.
Everyday could be for the thief, but one day is indeed for the owner through the law enforcement agents like the Dubai Police that spent four months to crack the case.
All the signs were there that Hushpuppi couldn’t have earned his supposed wealth legitimately judging by the way he flaunted them, but until he was caught, there was no way to prove that he was nothing but a fraudster like many others like him who claim to be what they are not.
Hopefully, many like him who are yet to be caught will back off from their criminal activities, but I know they won’t. They will trust in their ability to beat every legitimate system to acquire illicit wealth until they will be caught someday.
Hushpuppi’s case reinforces the need to question source of wealth of emergency ‘money men’ who have no antecedents to back their claim to whatever wealth they have. We have to stop celebrating people whose sources of wealth are questionable.