A US court has ordered the arrest of a celebrated Nigerian cop, Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, court documents have shown.
The records show that Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud executed by Nigerian cyber fraudster Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.
Abbas was arrested in the UAE in June 2020 alongside 11 of his associates over allegations bordering on hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft.
He had pled guilty to fraud in the US this week and according to the FBI, Messrs. Abbas and Kyari were buddies and were both involved in a money-laundering scheme.
Kyari was also charged with accepting money from Abbas in exchange for the arrest of “one of his rivals in Nigeria after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari businesspeople”.
Some reports suggest American prosecutors first filed a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021, while a new warrant for his arrest was issued on April 29, 2021.
On July 26, Judge Wright’s order allowing the FBI to arrest Kyari and hold him in US custody was made public.
Kyari, a respected police officer has since denied receiving money from Hushpuppi. Reacting on Thursday, Kyari said he never demanded money from Hushpuppi, insisting “my hands are clean”.
Although he admitted to knowing about the money-related dispute, Kyari disclosed that it was on the basis of the call that Vincent was arrested.
The Nigerian cop wrote on Instagram, “Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about 2years ago that somebody in Nigeria Seriously threatened to kill his Family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s Phone number and pleaded we take action before the Person attacks his family.
“We traced and arrested the Suspect and after investigations, we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life And they are long-time friends who have money issues between them hence we released the Suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.
“Later, he saw some of my Native Clothes and Caps on my social media page and he said he likes them and he was connected to the person selling the clothes and he sent about N300k directly to the person’s account. The Native Clothes and Caps (5 sets) were brought to our office and He sent somebody to Collect them in our office.
“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on threat to his family and released the Suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the Suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive, he can be contacted.
“For those who are celebrating that this is an indictment on us and mentioning some fictitious Big Money, They will be disappointed once again as our hands are clean and our record of Service for 2 decades is open for everybody to See. They will continue seeing us serving our fatherland and we will Continue responding to ALL distress Calls from ALL Nigerians provided they are life-threatening.”
By Abel Ejikeme