New reports about the popular Nigerian celebrity, Ramon Abbas Olorunwa, popularly known as Hushpuppi has emerged. Reports indicate that his schemes are linked to some North Korean hackers believed to be the biggest bank robbers in the world.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) established the link between Hushpuppi and the North Koreans.
A recent statement released by the Justice Department, stated that Hushpuppi participated in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.”
In an earlier statement released by the Justice Department, Abbas took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.” In a July statement, the Justice Department referred to the attack as “a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution.” Both the date and amount match that of the attack on Malta’s Bank of Valletta in February 2019.
The Justice Department in its latest statement released on Friday, February 19, 2021, further alleged that Hushpuppi took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.”
The statement revealed that his role was a collaborator who worked with a North Korean money launderer, Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Jon Chang Hyok, 31, Kim Il, 27, and Park Jin Hyok, 36, of being members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), a military intelligence agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
It stated that “Alaumary agreed to plead guilty to the charge, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Nov. 17, 2020.”
“Alaumary was a prolific money launderer for hackers engaged in ATM cash-out schemes, cyber-enabled bank heists, business email compromise (BEC) schemes, and other online fraud schemes. Alaumary is also being prosecuted for his involvement in a separate BEC scheme by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.”
“With respect to the North Korean co-conspirators’ activities, Alaumary organized teams of co-conspirators in the United States and Canada to launder millions of dollars obtained through ATM cash-out operations, including from BankIslami and a bank in India in 2018,” it said.
“Alaumary also conspired with Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka “Ray Hushpuppi,” and others to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019” the statement read
Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai in June 2020, and extradited to the US where he is being charged by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles with conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from “business email compromise” (BEC) frauds and other scams.
Abbas’ criminal trial was due to be heard in late 2020, before the pandemic forced a delay. But now more investigations are on-going and we will hear more about him soon.