On Friday 21 September 2018 the Polish Central Bureau of Investigation in Gdansk dismantled an illegal print shop producing counterfeit EUR 50 banknotes. The printer sold the counterfeit banknotes on illegal darknet marketplaces and sent them all over the European Union and beyond.
A six-month long joint operation targeting organised crime groups involved in fuel fraud has resulted in the arrests of 25 suspects so far and the seizure of 2.2 million kg of illicit fuel. This illegal trade can cause damage to vehicles’ engines, as the product is not compliant with the relevant European standards. Consequently, it can also be a risk to consumer health and safety.
SINGAPORE – Cyber experts from law enforcement, the private sector and academia have gathered in Singapore this week to devise strategies for promoting the global cybersecurity agenda.
Europol’s latest cybercrime report provides insights into emerging threats and key developments.
With the support of Europol and Frontex, two suspects were arrested on 12 September in a series of coordinated raids across Germany and Sweden in an investigation targeting a Syrian organised crime group suspected of cyber fraud. House searches were carried out in Aachen, Dortmund and Essen (Germany), and in Nörrköping, Malmö and Helsingborg (Sweden), where police recovered some EUR 54 000 and USD 55 000. The arrestees are believed to be the key organisers of a cyber fraud gang.
After a year-long complex investigation coordinated by Europol, authorities in Hampshire, south east England, Scotland and Ireland have arrested six, suspected of illicitly distributing premium TV channels by using Internet Protocol television (IPTV) technology.
Illegal hunting, trapping and trading of birds are not the only criminal activities threatening the lives of endangered species. Collecting hatchlings (newly hatched birds) and eggs from the nests of protected birds is a new reported trend in wildlife crime, which is causing a degradation of natural habitats and bringing protected species to the brink of extinction.
After six years of preparation and coordination, the international Operation Warenagent has seen the arrest of 15 individuals, thought to be members of a network responsible for online fraud causing EUR 18 million worth of damage. The operation was conducted by the German Prosecutor’s Office of Dresden, the Saxon State Office of Criminal Investigation, the Lithuanian Police and the Lithuanian Prosecutor’s Office, with help from Europol and Eurojust at the international level.
Action focused on the referral of jihadist terrorist content on Google-related platforms
Europol has supported the Spanish Guardia Civil and the National Police of Colombia in dismantling two criminal organisations involved in large-scale money laundering. It is estimated that the EUR 2.5 million have been laundered by using different methods, such as smurfing and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Some 360 tonnes of illegal or counterfeit pesticides were seized in Europe as the result of Operation SILVER AXE III, an annual operation coordinated by Europol with the support of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
Today Orange signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, to enhance their collaboration and share information on cyberthreats and major attacks. With this agreement, the two organisations are combining their efforts to make cyberspace safer for individuals, businesses, and governments and prevent cybercrime.
Today, at 04:00 in the morning, more than 250 police officers searched simultaneously 40 houses in the Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria, Piedmont, Apulia as well as in Ehningen (Germany), London (UK) and Barcelona (Spain).
74 Investigators, forensic experts, and future police officers joined the 4th Edition of the Europol Training Course on Payment Card Fraud Forensics and Investigations at the Spanish National Police Academy in Ávila, Spain.
In the first half of June, Europol and CEPOL organised, together with the Polish Police, an advanced training course on dismantling illicit synthetic drugs laboratories.
The Spanish Guardia Civil and the Austrian Federal Police, supported by Europol, have dismantled a criminal network producing and distributing synthetic drugs worldwide, known as new psychoactive substances (NPS), on the Darknet. The criminal group was also involved in money laundering their share of the profits by selling cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoins. More than EUR 4 500 000 in Bitcoins, IOTA and lumen was seized by law enforcement authorities.
Eight suspects of illicit vehicle trafficking have been arrested after the Hungarian and Slovakian authorities joined forces with Europol. The criminal group was under investigation for embezzling three luxury cars in 2017. The cars were originally registered in Slovakia, then reregistered in Hungary with fake vehicle registration certificates and subsequently sold to private, often unsuspecting, individuals.
Europol coordinated raids at European airports, targeting criminals trying to travel using fraudulently bought tickets. As the peak summer holiday time approaches, over 141 individuals were arrested last week in the latest law enforcement swoop which took place at over 226 airports around the world.
Intellectual property crime is extensive in the EU and continues to represent a cause for concern. Criminal activity in this area can cause harm to the health and safety of EU citizens, as well as the environment. It also affects national economies, contributing to reduced revenues for the affected businesses, decreased sales volume and job losses.
The Spanish Guardia Civil, in collaboration with the Spanish Tax Agency and supported by Europol, has dismantled a Chinese criminal organisation that fraudulently imported goods into the European Union (EU) from China. The Europol-supported operation represents the biggest success for financial investigators so far this year, with EUR 8 million in cash seized by law enforcement officers.
During the most recent fishing season (2017-18), European law enforcement was able to seize 3 394 kg of smuggled glass eels with an estimated value of EUR 6.5 million.
Between 19-21 June 2018, over 300 participants from 40 countries convened in The Hague for the 5th Virtual Currencies Conference organised by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) to discuss one of the hottest topics of this year: virtual currencies, and how to foster the legitimate use of this virtual monetary system often abused by hackers, international drug dealers and the money movers of organised crime.
On 30 May 2018 the Italian Central Directorate of Criminal Police, within the framework of EMPACT, with the support from Europol, CEPOL and the informal Network Against Metal Theft, created in 2014 within the Law Enforcement Working Party1, led a massive international action day against metal thefts. The operation took place in twelve EU Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The overall results from the 12 participating Member States show that 54 846 people, 42 237 vehicles, 7 986 environmental companies and scrap dealers, 589 border areas and 2 572 other hotspots (including harbours and rail transport sites, energy, telecommunications infrastructures and customs shipments) were checked by law enforcement. During the operational activities cross-checks were made in real time with Europol’s databases.