An operation conducted by European law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of 6 individuals involved in a €24 million ($27.2 million)
The group of cyber criminals is composed of five men and one woman, they were arrested after 14 months of investigation in simultaneous warrants in the UK (Charlcombe, Lower Weston and Staverton), and the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Rotterdam).
The investigation was conducted by the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU), the Dutch police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust, and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
“Today, the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) in a joint operation with the Dutch police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested 6 individuals after a 14-month long investigation into a €24 million cryptocurrency theft.” reads the press release published by the Europol.
The authorities raided the houses of the suspects and seized a large number of electronic devices, equipment, and valuable assets.
According to law enforcement agencies, crooks aimed at stealing users’ Bitcoin tokens. It has been estimated that at least 4 000 victims were impacted in 12 countries, with the numbers continuing to grow.
The suspects are accused to have committed computer misuse act offences and to have engaged in money laundering activities.
The investigation targeted the theft of crypto-currency from Bitcoin users. At least 4,000 victims in 12 countries are believed to have been impacted.
The cyber criminals carried out typosquatting attacks by spoof or setting up a clone of a well-known online cryptocurrency exchange, in an attempt to trick users into providing their login credentials. Once obtained the credentials they access to their Bitcoin wallets to steal funds.
“This case was referred to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) hosted at Europol after the British authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands. Operational support delivered by EC3 since February 2018 allowed the J-CAT to coordinate the international cooperation between the different EU Member States involved.” concludes the press release.