Nigerian influencer Ramon Abbas, linked to the €13 million cyberattack on Bank of Valletta in 2019, was part of a North Korean-led conspiracy to commit high-profile financial crimes across the world, according to the U.S Justice Department.
“The Billionaire Gucci Master”, known to his 2.5 million Instagram followers as hushpuppi, was charged in 2020 for money laundering allegations involving fraudulent wire transfers into banks across the world.
Three North Korean military hackers were also indicted this week for stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency and conspiring to exhort money summing up to $1.3 billion.
According to the allegations contained in the hacking indictment, the three defendants were members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a North Korean military hacking agency. They were at times stationed by the North Korean government in other countries, including China and Russia.
The indictment alleges that North Korean groups engaged in a single conspiracy to cause damage, steal data and money, and otherwise further the strategic and financial interests of the Northern Korean government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
“As laid out in today’s indictment, North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The broad criminal scheme includes cyber attacks on the entertainment industry, notably the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 in retaliation for “The Interview” a comedy movie that depicted the fictional assassination of Kim Jong Un; cyber-enabled bank heists involving Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta and Africa and six other criminal conspiracies.
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