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In a statement on Wednesday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) noted that the duo defrauded a Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school for $1.1 million.
The statement confirmed how they used proceeds from the fraud to acquire citizenship in St. Christopher and Nevis, an island nation known as St. Kitts and Nevis.
It added that Hushpuppi used approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand-delivered to him in Dubai and subsequently appeared in his social media posts.
Other illicit proceeds from the scheme were allegedly converted into cashier’s checks, including $50,000 in checks used by Abbas and a co-conspirator to obtain a passport by creating a false marriage certificate and bribing a government official St. Kitts.
The DoJ has said Hushpuppi has pleaded guilty to committing the fraud.
In June, the Dubai Police had arrested the duo and ten African cybercriminals in a special operation dubbed ‘Fox Hunt 2.’
The operation took down the suspects for committing crimes outside the UAE, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft.
The suspects were caught in a series of synchronized raids by six SWAT teams from Dubai Police who foiled the gang’s bid to deceive many people from around the world and steal their money.
Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of Dubai CID said the raid resulted in confiscating incriminating documents of a planned fraud on a global scale worth AED 1.6 billion ($ 435 million).
“The team also seized more than AED 150 million ($40.9 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of AED 25 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,” he said.
After conducting further investigations and analyzing confiscated electronic devices, Dubai Police investigators uncovered sensitive information mined by the suspects on individuals and companies overseas including bank accounts and fake credit cards as well as documents and files condemning the gangs’ illegal activities.