Majority of Nigeria’s online community say Raymond (Ramoni) Igbalode Abbas, who is popularly known as "Hushpuppi", is better off being tried abroad.

Hushpuppi was arrested by Dubai police on June 10, 2020, alongside 11 other members of his gang which include Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka ‘Woodberry.’

Dubai police have accused the suspects of “committing crimes outside the UAE (United Arab Emirates), including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonation, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft."

Extraditing Hushpuppi to the United States

On July 2, Dubai police announced that it has handed over Hushpuppi and his gang to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States.

However, on June 29, Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), announced that Husshpuppi has a case to answer back home.

The EFCC statement reads as follows: “Nigeria’s most-wanted hacker, Ramoni Igbalode, alias Ray Hushpuppi, recently arrested by the International Police(Interpol) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), has considerable cases of cyber crimes being investigated by the EFCC.

“The commission is familiar with grisly details of his money laundering transactions, involving many high-profile cyber criminals facing trial in Nigeria.

EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu (EFCC)
EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu (EFCC)

"The commission is engaging with the FBI in tracing victims of his fraudulent transactions and other fraudsters having direct involvement with him. Local cyber criminals with money laundering networks with him, are also being investigated.

“Hushpuppi was arrested on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 in the United Arab Emirates in connection with a $35million ventilator scam.”

Online poll favours international police

On June 29, 2020 days before it was learnt that Dubai had extradited the alleged fraudster to the U.S, Pulse Nigeria asked thousands of its readers across all social media channels if Hushpuppi should be handed over to the EFCC for interrogation and prosecution.

On Instagram, 63% of respondents said Hushpuppi is better off being prosecuted abroad, while 37% said he should be extradited to Nigeria to face criminal charges.

Pulse Nigeria poll on Hushpuppi
Pulse Nigeria poll on Hushpuppi

On Facebook, 75% of respondents voted for international prosecution for Hushpuppi. 25% however wanted the EFCC to take over the case.

Online readers prefer Hushpuppi being tried abroad
Online readers prefer Hushpuppi being tried abroad

On Twitter, 75.2% of Pulse Nigeria respondents voted against the EFCC taking over Hushpuppi’s case, while 24.8% preferred the EFCC to the international police.

Items seized from Hushpuppi and his team

Hushpuppi and his gang committed fraud to the tune of 1.6 billion dirham (N168bn), according to Dubai police.

Dubai police seized items worth more than 150 million dirham from the gang after taking possession of 21 personal computers, 47 smartphones, 15 flash drives and 5 hard disks.

Hushpuppi arrested in Dubai
Hushpuppi arrested in Dubai

1, 926, 400 victims were allegedly scammed by Hushpuppi and his gang.

13 luxury cars worth 25 million dirham were bought by Hushpuppi and his team with the money stolen from people who have been scammed, according to the police.