The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis have address controversies surrounding the citizenship of Ramon Olorunwa Abbas alias ‘Ray Hushpuppi’.
Multiple reports had claimed that Hushpuppi gained citizenship of the federation ‘by investment’ but the government of the St. Kitts and Nevis has now announced that he was a citizen through Marriage.
The Nigerian Instagram figure is currently facing fraud charges in the United States, and has appeared in court for allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through cybercrime schemes.
A fresh statement by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis as regards his citizenship said;
“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.”
The statement noted that reports stating he was a Citizenship by Investment were false.
“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.”
Hushpuppi’s legal team, Gal Pissetzky of Pissetzky & Berliner, has also recently come out to state that their client is not guilty of the charges levied against him.
According to Forbes, Abbas’ lawyer said his client is “an entrepreneur” who made his money legitimately through “real estate” and his work “promoting brands” as an “Instagram personality.”
According to Forbes;
Mr Abbas’s legal representative, Gal Pissetzky of Pissetzky & Berliner, told Forbes that his client [Hushpuppi] is “Absolutely not guilty of [the] charges they are accusing him of,” adding, “[Abbas] was running a legitimate business and a very legitimate Instagram account and did not take part in any scam or fraud.”
Asked how Abbas paid for his lifestyle, Pissetzky tells Forbes, “He’s an entrepreneur. He has real estate involvement … [he’s] an Instagram personality. He was promoting brands and that’s how he was very legitimately making his money.”
On his relationship with Premier League footballers Tammy Abraham and Ezri Konsa, his lawyer says, “Mr Abbas is friends with a lot of people. Somebody who has that many followers – obviously he knows and has friends in a lot of places … it’s all legitimate.”