A high ranking police officer in Nigeria is wanted in the United States of America over his alleged link to an internet fraudster who has pleaded guilty to fraud resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
Celebrated Nigerian police officer Abba Kyari wanted by FBI for fraud
U.S. court filings unsealed this week show that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has an order to detain Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner, for his links to Ramon Abbas, aka Ray Hushpuppi.
The celebrated police officer was indicted for a conspiracy to launder money in partnership with the suspected fraudster arrested in Dubai last year.
Investigations by the FBI showed the two first interacted in September 2019 when Kyari travelled to the United Arab Emirates.
Hushpuppi sent him a car and a driver to drive him around on the trip, and received a video slideshow of personal photographs from the police officer.
Hushpuppi texted Kyari “Am really happy to be ur boy”, and “I promise to be a good boy to u sir” in reply to an article the officer sent him discussing his arrest of some alleged kidnappers.
They were reported to have kept in touch through texts afterwards, up until May 2020, a month before the fraudster was arrested.
The link between the two was first made public following the unsealing of another U.S. indictment of six people who scammed a Qatari businessperson of $1.1 million.
Court documents alleged that the fraudster arranged for Kyari to have his partner, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested following a conflict.
According to the affidavit, Kyari carried out the request and sent Hushpuppi photographs of an imprisoned Vincent, as well as account details for his payment.
The police officer denied the allegation on Thursday, July 29, 2021, claiming that he was tricked into arresting Vincent over allegations he threatened Hushpuppi’s 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,” he said.
Kyari also revealed that the suspect was immediately released on bail, but the relationship between the two didn’t end there.
He said Hushpuppi had admired native clothes and caps he saw on his social media page and arranged for something similar to be made for him.
The police officer acted as middleman between the fraudster and the cloth merchant.
“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him,” he said, maintaining that his hands are clean.
Kyari is the commander of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team and highly regarded in security circles.
He was recently honoured by the House of Representatives for his hard work and outstanding performance.
The 46-year-old has in the past faced serious allegations of misconduct, but has faced no serious investigations.
Court filings made public this week show Hushpuppi has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in money laundering, with the schemes causing more than $24 million in losses.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced later by a Los Angeles court.