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Hushpuppi, Mompha, Invictus Obi, Nigeria’s Richest Internet Musketeers Finally Face Justice

In the last one year, it seems, Nigeria’s Internet fraudsters’ community and underbelly are finally meeting their Waterloo.
Last night, operatives of the Interpol and FBI coordinated an operation that led to the arrest of the flamboyant Nigerian socialite, Ray Hushpuppi. Arrested alongside his friend at his luxury Dubai condominium, his arrest has perhaps finally completed the puzzle which has taken the FBI, Interpol and most importantly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, many years to solve.
For those who are conversant with the Nigerian Internet fraud underbelly, Hushpuppi, Mompha and Invictus Obi are perhaps the three richest and most viral Internet fraud suspects, what some in the community call the ‘three musketeers’.

“Invictus Obi” Obinwanne Okeke

The first piece of the puzzle was unveiled early last year when Obiwanne Okeke, aka Invictus, a young Nigerian who portrayed and kept his public profile as a serial business entrepreneur was arrested in the U.S. while returning after visiting his wife who was reported to have put to bed.
The FBI said in an affidavit that Obinwanne Okeke who until his arrest was the CEO of the Nigerian diversified group allegedly committed wire frauds to the tune of $11 million.
Nicknamed Invictus Obi, Obinwanne is quite popular a young businessman and investor but not much is known about his business track records or prior working experience.

In the sworn affidavit used to secure his arrest, the FBI prosecutor alleged that Obinwanne targeted a phishing attack against the chief financial officer of Unatrac Holdings Limited, a UK company that provides export services for Caterpillar heavy equipment. The phishing attack resulted in the fraudulent theft of the total sum of $11 million.

The website claimed the company is into private equity investment with ‘interests in a diverse portfolio of unlisted companies, with key holdings in the resources, construction, oil and gas and agricultural industries’.
As part of his rockstar image in the media, he was listed among 100 Most Influential Young Africans 2018 which included Davido, Falz, Ahmed Musa.
Last month, Obiwanne pleaded guilty for wire fraud after several months of his trial.

“Mompha” Ismaila Mustapha

The arrest of Mompha came with a twist and turn as well as other conspiracy theories that cropped up later. On the 22nd of October, 2019, the EFCC, Lagos office, confirmed the arrest of Mompha, a renowned Social Media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha for alleged involvement in internet-related fraud and money laundering.
In the EFCC statement, the commission said the suspect (Mompha) was a premium and first-class customer of one of the popular international airlines, was arrested on Friday 18, October 2019 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his way to Dubai Emirate following series of intelligence reports received by the Commission
According to the EFCC operatives, “actionable cross border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities further strengthened our suspicion”.
Ismaila who allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social medial platforms.
Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business, he jointly owned with his siblings, as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.
EFCC Nigeria
However, the suspect has volunteered useful information to the operatives and has admitted to be reasonably involved in the first two cases he was alleged to be involved.
“At the point of arrest, five wristwatches with a total worth of over twenty million naira (N20,000,000: 00) was recovered from him,” the statement said.
After his arrest, the EFCC filed several counts of criminal offenses against including money laundering and operating an illegal bureau de change.
After the arrest of Mompha, Hushpuppi was reported to have dismissed any links with Mompha through several cryptic posts on his Instagram posts as well as other videos he made weeks after Mompha was arrested.

End of the Road?
While Invictus Obi has confessed to the crimes brought against by the FBI in the U.S.. there are no indications when Mompha’s trial will end or when and where Hushpuppi will be tried. However, people with the knowledge of his arrest suggested that he could be extradited to the U.S. as a result of the complaints that led to his eventual arrest.
One thing is not in doubt, various law enforcement authorities from the EFCC to the FBI in the U.S. have made huge breakthroughs in the tracking, arrest and prosecution of Internet fraudsters. The arrest of Invictus Obi, Mompha and now Hushpuppi could mark the beginning of the end for many other high profile Internet fraud suspects, their ring and foot soldiers.

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