Nearly a week after the arrest of Hushpuppi, flamboyant Nigerian ex-Senator, Dino Melaye has finally disavowed Ray Hushpuppi.
After the arrest of HushPuppi, Dino Melaye was heavily criticized on social media for being a close friend to Hushpuppi. Last year, Dino was pictured with the alleged fraudster in Dubai.
In an apparent denial of links or friendship with the alleged Internet fraudster, Dino Melaye said in a tweet alongside his picture with Hushpuppi that:
“The company you keep is not always a reflection of who you are.”
His statement is perhaps an argument against the common saying that: “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”
While he was a Senator before he was removed by the Appeal Court for election malpractices, Dino Melaye was a staunch critic of the APC federal government, the same party he joined in 2013. He won the first term as a Senator but later decamped with Bukola Saraki, the then-Senate President in 2018 to the PDP.
Dino Melaye will not be the first associate of Hushpuppi that will deny him. A day after his arrest, Amirah Dyme, a model and reportedly a former boyfriend of the alleged fraudster, mocked him saying:
“Hope you like orange prisoner Jumpsuit?”
She went on to send a veiled message that “Imagine telling someone they’re not good enough to come and sit with the rich because of how they’re dressed when they bough their clothes with their own money while u (sic) literally STOLE the money that you used to buy outfits with from the poor people. KARMA is a b*tch. Hope you like orange.”
Although she later backtracked, supporting him with more posts on her Instagram page, the post was already viral and munched by the media.
During the last presidential elections, Hushpuppi campaigned for the PDP presidential candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar who used Dubai as the base for his strategy sessions.
Last week, the Hushpuppi whose real name is Ramoni Igbalode (aka Raymond Igblodely) was arrested by the operatives of the Interpol and the FBI in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The company you keep is not always a reflection of who you are. pic.twitter.com/x5YjmwpGbW
— Dino Melaye (@DinoMeIaye) June 16, 2020
Eyewitnesses in Dubai said Hushpuppi and his friend where ‘allegedly surrounded by the International police and FBI on the grounds of being fraud suspects’. Hushpuppi who said he will not come back to Nigeria has been accused of being an Internet fraudster because of his flamboyant and expensive lifestyles without a convincing business and source of his lavish lifestyle.
According to the unconfirmed charges by the Interpol, Hushpuppi’s Internet fraud gang were accused of exploiting COVID-19 benefits to scam the American government by diverting the benefits from the unemployed victims. The report alleged that the gang must have stolen over $35 million in unemployed benefits.
To get a better perspective on the alleged scam Hushpuppi was accused of, last week, we reported that The US Secret Service has issued an alert about a massive operation to file fraudulent unemployment claims in states around the country, like Washington and Massachusetts. Officials attributed the activity to Nigerian scammers and said millions of dollars had already been stolen.
As a follow-up investigation, research is now shedding light on one of the actors tied to the scams—and the other pandemic hustles they have going.
According to a report by Wired Magazine, Scattered Canary is a full-service “business email compromise” operation that uses scams like email impersonation and phishing to manipulate businesses into paying out phony contracts and other fake invoices. Then Scattered Canary uses a network of money mules within the US and around the world to route the money. BEC fraudsters participate in a wide variety of hustles—from Craigslist rental scams to payroll data theft and snagging people’s tax refunds—to make money and build out a sort of scam toolkit.
“Scattered Canary has committed unemployment fraud along with a number of other government services-focused frauds like disaster relief fraud, Social Security fraud, and student aid fraud,” Agari’s Hassold says. “Many West African scam groups have also been heavily involved in other incidents, like W-2 BEC attacks, where they can harvest a significant amount of personal information, so it’s not surprising they have the information needed to carry out these attacks on unemployment services.”