An X user, @praisroghre, has shared a video showing Ramon Olorunwa Abbas popularly called Hushpuppi at an airport with a claim that the U.S.-convicted fraudster has been released from prison.
The video caption reads: “Hushpuppi’s been released from jail, let’s hope he has learnt from his mistakes.”
Currently serving a jail term in the United States, the notorious fraudster was arrested by Interpol in Dubai in 2020 alongside other members of an internet fraud syndicate. He was extradited to the United States where he was tried for money laundering.
The claim, posted on November 30, 2023, has generated over 2.2 million views, more than 2,600 reposts, over 8,000 likes and about 1,000 comments on X as of December 8, 2023. The footage had also garnered over 1.7 million views on TikTok since it was posted there by a user: @joseph.teezer on November 5, 2023.
Video shows Hushpuppi being released from jail.
Checks by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
A look at the video shows that it has two watermarks. One is the watermark of the account that posted it on TikTok and the other shows the water mark of the platform that published the original video.
The FactCheckHub tracked the original video to the TikTok account and subjected keyframes obtained from it to Google Reverse Image search. The results show that the video was first uploaded on YouTube in 2018 by iLiteTV during Hushpuppi’s birthday in Cyprus, prior to his arrest in 2020.
This is not the first time that misleading information would circulate regarding Hushpuppi. In September 2023, a picture showing the Abbas at the airport surfaced online with a claim that he has been released. Findings, however, showed that the image was taken out of context to lend credibility to the rumour.
Hushpuppi was to serve 11 years imprisonment. He’s not expected to be released until he has exhausted his jail term. There was also no credible local or international media organisations that reported its purported release.
The claim that Hushpuppi has been released from jail is FALSE; findings revealed that the footage has been online since 2018 before his arrest.