FBI kidnapped my client from Dubai — Hushpuppi’s lawyer

FBI
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Huspuppi allegedly accused of being involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud and money laundering by the Dubai Police was kidnapped by the US FBI from Dubai, his lawyer says.

Recall that Ray Hushpuppi and Mr Woodberry were arrested in Dubai, in June, and extradited to the United States, in July.

According to his lawyer, the United Arab Emirates has no extradition treaty with the United States but Dubai police said they had been extradited to the US.

However, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice had told the BBC that Hushpuppi was expelled from Dubai and was not extradited. But he failed to comment on how he ended up in US custody.

Gal Pissetzky told the BBC that his client, who posts on Instagram about his extravagant lifestyle, was not a criminal and had made his money legitimately.

“He is a social media influencer with millions of followers, with millions of people that respect and loved him, and he loved them, and that’s what he did. In today’s society, that’s a business,” he said.

Mr Pissetzky admits that he is not “100% familiar” with social media and his children consider him too old but he knows “that’s how people make money today”.

The FBI accused Ray Hushpuppi of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.

It is the latest high-profile fraud case involving a Nigerian national in the United States but his lawyer says the US had no authority to transport him from Dubai.

Mr Pissetzky said: “In my opinion, the FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so.

“There was no extradition, there were no legal steps taken, there were no court documents filed, it was simply a call to the FBI. He is not a citizen of the United States, the US had absolutely no authority to take him.

But in a Facebook post, the Dubai police said the FBI director had thanked them for extraditing the two men.

“If Dubai wanted to expel him, they should have expelled him back to Nigeria. I’ve never heard of anything like that. That is the real story here,” Pissetzky said.

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