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.
95 professional fraudsters and members of internet-based criminal networks suspected of online fraud activities were arrested during the 2018 e-Commerce Action (eComm 2018), a joint law enforcement operation supported by 28 countries from 4 to 15 June 2018. The main goal was to target online fraud through a coordinated law enforcement action within the European Union (EU) and beyond, followed by an awareness-raising campaign. This action also marks the start of several investigations with more arrests expected in the next few months. The activity was inspired by a similar UK pilot conducted in collaboration with Visa.
The Spanish National Police, supported by Europol, has dismantled three clandestine laboratories and seized more than 5 million doses in an operation against the production of illicit medicines. 29 people have been arrested and 15 houses searched in Madrid, Valencia and Malaga.
A 25-year-old coder was arrested on 18 May by the Royal Thai Police based on a French international arrest warrant. The arrest of this young cybercriminal was the eight in an international operation supported by Europol and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) that started exactly one year ago.
Easy money with no strings attached? Think again – you are funding crime, and we know it
Europol and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a mutual framework of cooperation to foster a safer cyber environment for citizens, organisations and businesses.