Ukraine’s cyber police and Europol arrested five members of a transnational fraud group that caused more than 200 million losses per year.
The arrests are the results of a joint operation conducted with the support of law enforcement officers in Albania, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia and Spain. In these countries the gang established its offices and call centers and employed more than 2,000 people to carry out the criminal activity.
The group defrauded investors through a pseudo-investment scheme in cryptocurrencies and securities, the investigation began in 2020.
The investors were tricked into initiating a series of fake investments. The gang operated its websites and platforms where they offered depositors to receive excess profits from investing in cryptocurrency and trading in securities (stocks, bonds, futures, options). They also simulated asset growth through these platforms, but investors were not able to withdraw their funds.
“According to Europol, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been affected by the illegal activities of transnational groups. Damages are estimated at more than 200 million euros per year.” reads the announcement published by Ukraine’s cyber police. “Law enforcement officers conducted searches in the homes of those involved, as well as at the addresses of call centers in Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk. More than 500 pieces of computer equipment and mobile phones were seized. At the same time, searches were conducted in other countries at the places of residence of the remaining members of the group.”
The police officers conducted searches in the homes of arrested people, as well as at the offices hosting the call centers in Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk.
The police seized more than 500 pieces of computer equipment and mobile phones. Law enforcement in other countries also conducted, searches at the places of residence of the remaining members of the gang.
“Criminal proceedings have been opened under Part 3 of Art. 190 (Fraud) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The sanction of the article provides up to eight years of imprisonment.” concludes the announcement.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, fraud group)