The suspects are alleged to have committed crimes including money-laundering, hacking, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft
Dubai Police arrested Raymond Igbalode Abbas, known as ‘Hushpuppi’, and Olalekan Jacob Ponle referred to as ‘Woodberry’, along with 10 African cybercriminals in a special operation.
The operation, dubbed Fox Hunt 2, took down suspects for committing crimes outside the country, including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft, Dubai Media Office reported.
“Similar to operation ‘Fox Hunt 1’ that took down an African gang of nine online scammers last February, Op ‘Fox Hunt 2’ is another painful hit to cybercriminals who try to mess with the world’s security and safety,” said Lieutenant general Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police.
Al Marri reaffirmed the force’s commitment to spoil cyber fraud and online scams using the latest technology.
“As criminals constantly change their criminal methods, Dubai Police work tirelessly to qualify elites of officers and employees specialised in facilitating the latest technologies to tackle emerging and transnational organised crime,” he said.
.@DubaiPoliceHQ takedown “Hushpuppi”, “Woodberry”, ten international cybercriminals in a special operation dubbed “Fox Hunt 2”. pic.twitter.com/E8oOFHZftG
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 25, 2020
According to expert Major general Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief for criminal investigation affairs, the suspects were caught in a series of synchronised raids by six SWAT teams from Dubai Police.
“The operation was carried out in a highly professional manner in terms of planning and execution as well as setting a zero hour to take down all gang members in the same time,” Al Mansouri said.
Fox Hunt 2
On receiving the security intel about an African gang involved in money-laundering and cyber fraud, an investigation team was formed to track down the suspects and arrest them, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police, said.
“After verifying available information, the team has started to track the gang including “Hushpuppi”, who celebrated his wealth via social media platform, under a businessman façade, in an attempt to lure victims from all over the world,” Al Jallaf said.
Al Jallaf said the anti-cybercrime task force was able to track the gang members and detect their criminal activities including creating fake accounts on social media website with fake nicknames, hacking corporate emails to deceive clients into making money transfers to the gang’s bank accounts.
“The suspects also targeted victims overseas by creating fake websites for well-known companies and banks in a bid to steal victims’ credit card information and then launder the stolen money,” Al Jallaf continued.
“The team also seized more than Dhs150m ($40.9m) in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of Dhs25m ($6.8m) 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 investigations and analysing confiscated electronic devices, Dubai Police 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.
Last February, Dubai Police arrested an African gang of nine fraudsters specialised in cyber scam after they had run 81 fake businesses across 18 countries around the world.
Called ‘Fox Hunt 1’, the operation revealed a hidden online fraud network that deceived victims into transferring money in return for job opportunities.
The gang used multiple bank accounts to make money transfers and deposits totalling over Dhs32m ($8.7m).