DCP Frank Mba, the Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Police Force, says there are many “baby and bigger” criminals around who operate like alleged international internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, The PUNCH reports.
He said no one should weep for Hushpuppi while advising parents to query any suspicious show of wealth by their wards.
He also warned traditional rulers to desist from the act of giving titles to young men and women with questionable sources of income.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that 37-year-old Abbas was arrested last month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by the Dubai Police and later handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
The Force spokesperson, who spoke Thursday on a radio programme, ‘Real Talk With Kike’, said Hushpuppi is just one of the many cyber crooks and cyber rogues out there.
Speaking about the arrest of Abbas in June, Mba said, “The feat by the Dubai Police was not achieved by them alone but an international collaboration that ran across multiple security agencies with Interpol playing a very big role, FBI playing a big role and of course, the Dubai Police taking the lead because they as the national police, policing the country where Hushpuppi was based and where most of his activities emanated from.”
Asked by the host, Kikelomo Atanda-Owo, whether the NPF has the capacity to arrest criminals of Hushpuppi’s category, he said “time will tell” but pointed out that a lot of progress was being made by the Interpol unit located at the Force Headquarters in Abuja manned by Police operatives.
Hushpuppi, said to have duped about 1,926,400 victims, is facing charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others in the US.
His lawyer, Gal Pissetzky of Pissetzky & Berliner, said he is planning a “vigorous defence” to free him when the US court handling the matter resume hearing on Monday.
Mba added, “Hushpuppi will enjoy the privileges of being tried in a free world and in a liberal democracy. I also have no doubt about his capacity to pay for the best of lawyers. He’s a billionaire crook. He should have the capacity to pay.
“But the good thing about the law is that, when the facts are so clear, they speak for themselves. As long as the prosecution is able to make out their case and establish their case, the judge would certainly give judgment favour of the prosecution.
“However, if the prosecution is unable to prove their case, then the benefit of the doubt would be given to the suspect, although I doubt if that would happen in Huspuppi’s case.
“Because there is massive multilateral collaboration still working on that case and putting evidence together.
“I’m not going to weep for Hushpuppi and I say no one should. There are still a lot of baby Hushpuppis around, a lot of bigger Hushpuppis around.
“We will need to walk together as a people. Hushpuppi is a metaphor to look at the bigger picture facing us.”
Hushpuppi risks spending 20 years in jail should he be convicted.