Home Law Enforcement Italy & Romania Criminal Profits: Cyber Fraud Ring Creating €20M Annually Busted

Italy & Romania Criminal Profits: Cyber Fraud Ring Creating €20M Annually Busted

An organised criminal group (cyber fraud ring) involved in the cybercrime, money laundering and financial fraud has been dismantled on the 7th of July, 2020 by the Romanian National Police (Poliția Română) and the Italian National Postal and Communication Police Unit (Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni). Europol and Eurojust backed the operation.

On the stated date, the Italian and the Romanian law enforcement agencies had carried out 12 house searches and have arrested 12 individuals in total (4 in Romania and 8 in Italy). The operation has yielded the law enforcement authorities with personal computers, properties, credit cards, vehicles and other assets that were estimated with an overall value of more than €1.5 million.

cyber-fraud-ring
Image: Europol

The undisclosed criminal organisation has been using money mules in Italy that was distributed across an extensive network. The main aim of the criminal group was to launder the illegal proceeds from diverse cybercrime activities. The cyber fraud ring was actively involved in financial scams and cyber frauds like the rental and CEO frauds. Rental frauds have been conducted through advertising the non-existent properties to rent. In contrast, the CEO fraud was done via impersonating a company official in the bid to trigger hefty transfers to bogus accounts. By implementing these frauds, the criminals were successful in deceiving the victims across Europe into making the wire transfers to Italy-based bank accounts that are owned by the cyber fraud ring. As estimated, the cyber fraud group has produced up to €20 million losses annually for the victims across Europe.

Law Enforcement agency Europol has analytically supported the operation by facilitating the information exchange. During the action lasting two days, Europol had deployed an expert to Italy owing to cross-check the operational information in real-time against Europol’s databases and also provide leads to the investigators working in the field. Eurojust has also facilitated the coordination of the operation along with the cooperation between the judicial authorities associated with the cyber fraud ring case.

Source: Europol


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Aadvik Perry
Aadvik Perry covers law enforcement and crimes from San Francisco for The New York Times. Before joining The Times he was a reporter at The Los Angeles Times and The Forward. Aadvik is one of the top contributors of Dark Web Links.

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