FBI links Hushpuppi to North Korean bank robbers and money launderers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI has linked Instagram celebrity, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi, to North Korean hackers said to be the biggest bank robbers in the world.
The Justice Department in a detailed statement released on Friday, February 19, alleged that Hushpuppi took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.”
According to the statement, his role was as a collaborator with a North Korean money launderer, Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
“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.
“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.
His trial was to have commenced late last year, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.