The Federal Bureau of Investigation has alleged that money laundering suspect, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, paid N8m or $20,600 to the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to arrest and detain a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Kelly Vincent.
A document issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California and dated February 12, 2021, alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after Chibuzo allegedly threatened to expose an alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
“Kyari provided the account information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a person other than Kyari himself,” Page 59, item 145 of the document stated.
FBI Special Agent, Andrew John Innocenti, made the allegation in the ‘Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means’ filed before the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Detailing the events leading to the alleged payment, the document stated, “On January 16, 2020, Abbas sent a message to Kyari on WhatsApp, and then placed five calls to another phone number (+2348060733588) that was listed as ‘Abba Kyari.’ Call records show that the last three of the calls were answered and that one of the calls lasted more than two minutes.
“Shortly after that, Abbas received a message from Kyari, confirming ‘We would pick him today or tomorrow.’ Abbas wrote, ‘I will take care of the team also after they pick him up.’ Kyari confirmed ‘Yes ooo.’”
The document averred that, based on the conversation described in paragraphs 143 to 145, Abbas planned to pay the Nigeria Police Force officers who arrested Chibuzo for that service.
It alleged that “This was not the only time that Abbas arranged payments with Kyari”, adding, “On May 20, 2020, Abbas sent Kyari transaction receipts for two transactions from accounts at Nigerian banks (GTBank and Zenith Bank) of a person Abbas knew in the U.A.E.— a person also arrested with Abbas in Abbas’ apartment in the U.A.E. by Dubai Police on June 9, 2020 — to the Nigerian bank accounts of another person in Nigeria.
“The amounts on the transaction receipts totalled 8 million Nigerian Naira, which was approximately $20,600 based on publicly available exchange rate information.”
The FBI document noted that, “Attempting to reason with Abbas, on January 18, 2020, Chibuzo recounted for Abbas all the assistance he had provided in the scheme to victimize the victim Businessperson, including creating the “power of attorney” document, devising a story to tell the victim Businessperson, and facilitating the creation of the “telephone banking” number and fake Wells Fargo website.
“On January 20, 2020, Kyari sent to Abbas a biographical, identifying information for Chibuzo, along with a photograph of him. In a conversation immediately following, Abbas confirmed, ‘that is him sir.’
“Kyari stated, ‘We have arrested the guy. He is in my cell now. This is his picture after we arrested him today.”
According to the document, Kyari then sent the biographical information about, and photograph of Chibuzo to Abbas, using two different WhatsApp numbers — the second of which Kyari said was his “private number.”
“From that point on, Kyari and Abbas primarily discussed the arrest and detention of Chibuzo through WhatsApp on this ‘private number,’” the document stated further.