DIICOT, Romanian Police participate in international operation against money mules, 31 mil euro damages

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DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) prosecutors – the central structure, together with Judicial police officers from the Service for Combating Information Crime with the Direction for Combating Organized Crime have participated in an international operation against money mules, the damage caused by transactions involving such people amounting to approximately 31 million euro.

According to some press releases sent on Tuesday by DIICOT and IGPR, following an international operation organised 20 through 24 November by authorities in 26 countries, with the support of Eurojust, Europol and European Banking Federation against the money mules, 159 people were arrested on the European territory, 59 recruiters/organisers were identified as well as 766 money mules, 409 of whom were heard by the law enforcement authorities.

“Money mules are people recruited from various organized crime groups as middlemen for money laundering, being also used to receive and transfer into bank accounts illegally obtained funds. With the help of participating banks and partners in the private sector, 1,719 financial transactions involving money mules were reported, with damages of approximately 31 million euro being caused. 90 percent of the above mentioned financial transactions were carried out after illegally obtaining amounts of money by committing several offenses in the information crime field (phishing, CEO Fraud, Business Email Compromise, fake sales). Moreover, in the money laundering scheme an increase of Bitcoin transactions was noticed,” the quoted sources show.

Prosecutors specify that this operation which benefits from the participation of authorities from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland And the United States to America represents the continuation of a project developed within the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats – Cybercrime, Payment Fraud Operational Action Plan.

“At national level, DIICOT prosecutors – the central structure, together with Judicial police officers with the Direction for Combating Organized Crime have carried out eight residence searches in a criminal case that caused a 200,000 euro damage. At the same time, within nine criminal case as many as 49 money mules and a recruiter were identified, and it was established that through various methods (phishing, illegal financial transactions, fake online sales offers) 141 people were defrauded, with a damage amounting to approximately 400,000 euro,” the above mentioned releases specify.