Europol, law enforcement agencies eliminate Asian criminal network

Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency which handles criminal intelligence, in collaboration with Finnish law enforcement authorities, has eliminated an Asian criminal network responsible for illegal internet transactions and purchasing of airline tickets.
Following the operation, two members of the criminal organisation, traveling on false documents, have been arrested at the Helsinki airport. In addition, around 15 000 compromised credit card numbers were found on the criminals’ seized computers.
The criminal network has been misusing credit card details stolen from cardholders worldwide. In Europe alone, over EUR 70 000 in losses were sustained by cardholders and banks. In addition, there is evidence of further criminal activities in large-scale international payment fraud and illegal immigration.
According to Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre, the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol will continue to proactively support other investigations of this nature. The European Cybercrime Centre has been established to support EU Member States in combating all forms of cyber and online crime. As part of this, EC3 and Visa Europe have initiated international cooperation between law enforcement agencies and industry to specifically reduce the level of fraud caused by illegal internet transactions. According to Europol’s recent Situation Report, losses caused by payment fraud in Europe are estimated to cost EUR 1.5 billion a year.


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