The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has confirmed that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, a notorious internet fraudster recently arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, is indeed a citizen of the island nation by marriage.
A press statement signed by Les Khan, CEO, Citizenship By Investment Unit, in the office of the Prime Minister, said Abbas (Hushpupie) married Shawana Nakesia Chapman, a citizen of the island nation in February 2020, conferring him with the rights to St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship.
Ms. Chapman is also a U.S Citizen by naturalization and lives in North Carolina.
Khan’s clarification came following speculation that Hushpuppi may have acquired his St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program is the oldest of its kind in the world. Established in 1984 the program grants citizenship through donation or real estate investment to qualified applicants. The government requires an investment of either a minimum donation of $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) or an investment of $400,000 in real estate plus related government and due diligence fees.
The statement reads:
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has become aware of reports and rumors concerning the Federation’s citizenship of a Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, allegedly a person of interest to the United States FBI.
We note that the Nigeria-born Mr. Abbas, 37, was granted a St. Kitts and Nevis passport in February 2020 by virtue of his marriage to Shawana Nakesia Chapman, 32, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis by birth and the United States of America. Ms. Chapman, a resident of North Carolina, USA, married Mr. Abbas in Nigeria in October 2018, thereby conferring him with the right to St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship.
Any suggestion that citizenship was obtained through means other than marriage – such as the country’s Citizenship by Investment program, which includes rigorous background checks – is therefore utterly false and willfully misleading.
Media Contact for the Citizenship by Investment Unit:
Les Khan PMP, MSOC, BBA
CEO, Citizenship by Investment Unit
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis
1 869 662 3548 (St. Kitts)
1 813 403 7714 (International)
Abbas faces money laundering conspiracy charges in the United States, according to the Department of Justice. He appeared in a federal court in Chicago on Friday accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through cybercrime schemes.
He was arrested last month by authorities in the United Arab Emirates, where he was a resident.