The Dubai Police recently arrested Raymond Igbalode Abbas, also known as “Hushpuppi”, Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka “Woodberry” and ten other African cybercriminals in a special operation, WAM reported.
Dubbed “Fox Hunt 2”, the operation took down the suspects for committing crimes outside the UAE, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonation, scamming, banking fraud and identity theft. Last February, operation “Fox Hunt 1” was employed to arrest an African gang of nine online scammers after they had run 81 fake businesses across 18 countries; it foiled their bid to steal AED4 billion ($1.08 billion) by offering jobs.
Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police, said: “As criminals constantly change their criminal methods, Dubai Police works tirelessly to qualify elite officers and employees specialising in understanding the latest technologies to tackle emerging and transnational organised crimes”.
Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs and an expert, said the suspects were caught in a series of synchronised raids by six SWAT teams from Dubai Police.
Revealing the operational details, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Dubai Police, said that upon receiving security intelligence, an investigation team was formed to track down the suspects and make the arrests. “After verifying the available information, the team had started to track the gang including “Hushpuppi”, who celebrated his wealth via social media platforms as a businessman, in an attempt to lure victims from all over the world.”
He said the anti-cybercrime task force tracked down the gang members and detected their criminal activities including creating fake accounts on social media sites with fake nicknames. The gang was also hacking corporate emails to deceive clients into making money transfers into their bank accounts. “The suspects also targeted victims overseas by creating fake websites for well-known companies and banks in a bid to steal credit card information and then launder the stolen money,” he added.
The raid resulted in the confiscation of incriminating documents of a planned fraud on a global scale worth AED1.6 billion (US$435 million). “The team also seized more than AED150 million ($40.9 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of AED25 million ($6.8 million) obtained from fraud crimes, and confiscated 21 computer devices, 47 smartphones, 15 memory sticks, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of 1,926,400 victims,” Al Jallaf said.