Europol detains more than 200 people in international cryptocurrency fraud case

Law enforcement agencies in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany and Serbia, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, have detained members of a criminal group involved in online fraud with crypto investments. During the international operation, a large-scale network of cybercriminals was liquidated, in which residents from several countries were involved. According to Europol, the criminals offered “exclusive opportunities for investment in cryptocurrencies”, for which they actively used social engineering tools.. In particular, social media ads, call centers and fake websites run by criminals. According to preliminary data, the greatest losses were suffered by the inhabitants of Germany, and the total financial damage caused to the victims of criminal acts exceeded €2 million.. The department reported that only in Eastern Europe there were at least four call centers controlled by criminals.. Therefore, Europol investigators assume that new criminal episodes may be revealed during the investigation, and the number of victims, as well as the illegal profits of the criminal group, will increase many times over. Until the degree of participation in a criminal group is clarified, 261 people were detained: 42 in Bulgaria, 2 in Cyprus, 3 in Germany and 214 in Serbia. Several members of the criminal network were arrested. The police confiscated 3 hardware wallets with approximately $1 million in cryptocurrencies, around €50,000 in cash, 3 vehicles, electronic equipment, documents and data backups. Last September, during the Global Conference on Criminal Finance and Cryptocurrency in The Hague, the Europol administration said that the unique capabilities of the blockchain provide the police with an unprecedented opportunity to investigate crimes.