A high-ranking Nigerian police officer is being investigated by the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for allegedly making an arrest at the request of Instagram influencer Ramon Abbas, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering, according to the US Department of Justice.
Instagram influencer, Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi alleged that he bribed Abba Kyari – Nigeria’s celebrated deputy commissioner of police (DCP) – to arrest a co-fraudster in a whopping $1.1m scam, US court documents reveal.
Hushpuppi pleaded guilty in April in U.S Federal High court in Los Angeles to conspiracy to engage in money laundering from business email compromise scams and other online crimes.
According to a statement by the US department of justice, Ramon Abbas, 37, alleged that he asked Kyari to jail co-fraudster Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both had a dispute over how to share the $1.1 million loot from the Qatari businessperson.
The allegation comes days after the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) urged Nigerians to stop offering their officers a bribe.
In the filings by the officials, Vincent was said to have contacted the victim and informed him that he was being scammed by Hushpuppi’s syndicate.
As stated in the documents, this enraged Hushpuppi who was said to have contacted Kyari to arrest and jail him.
Hushpuppi was also quoted as saying that Kyari allegedly sent photos of Vincent in jail and followed this up with a bank account number to which a wire transfer should be made for the successful arrest and detention of his co-fraudster.
“Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest.
Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” the statement read in part.
However, Kyari, 46, took to his verified Facebook page to deny the claim, stating that he did not demand any money from Hushpuppi. Kyari, however, said that he introduced the fraudster to a cloth seller whom Hushpuppi paid about N300,000 (About $600).
See Kyari’s statement:
“Friends: Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about 2years ago that somebody in Nigeria Seriously threatened to kill his Family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s Phone number and pleaded we take action before the Person attacks his family.
We traced and arrested the Suspect and after investigations we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life And they are long time friends who have money issues between them hence we released the Suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
Nobody demanded for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to Save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.
Later, he saw some of my Native Clothes and Caps on my social media page and he said he likes them and he was connected to the person selling the clothes and he sent about N300k directly to the person’s account. The Native Clothes and Caps (5 sets) were brought to our office and He sent somebody to Collect them in our office.
Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on threat to his family and released the Suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the Suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive, he can be contacted.
For those who are celebrating that this is an indictment on us and mentioning some fictitious Big Money, They will be disappointed once again as our hands are clean and our record of Service for 2 decades is open for everybody to See. They will continue seeing us serving our father land and we will Continue responding to ALL distress Calls from ALL Nigerians provided they are life threatening.
For Good Nigerians who appreciate our Service please don’t worry as our hands are clean and they should please not respond to those celebrating and creating many false Narratives without any Evidence. We are used to such types of people and false newsmakers and distributors.
Thank you all and GOD bless Nigeria.”