International law enforcement agencies have conducted a joint operation in Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Cyprus, resulting in the arrest of cryptocurrency scammers. The syndicate, which was run from Israel, had been targeting Australians who were lured into investing in fraudulent schemes promising high returns on investment.
According to The Australian, several call centers in Serbia and 11 residences in various countries were shut down, and 15 people were arrested. The authorities confiscated $1.46 million in cryptocurrencies and other assets.
Private intelligence company IFW Global reported that the criminals from Israel led the syndicate, but it is unclear if they were among those arrested. Australians, who are wealthy and trusting, were the primary targets of the syndicate, as local law enforcement agencies were not very active in finding cryptocurrency criminals.
Mark Solomons, an employee of IFW Global, stated that Australians and Canadians are quite open to communication, trusting, and may easily fall prey to fraudulent schemes after communicating online. Criminals from Israel have become extremely wealthy by robbing Australians and draining their retirement savings. These criminals own private jets, significant assets, real estate, cars, and yachts, and they freely travel the world.
Europol announced that the theft of $3.1 million was reported as part of the investigation. However, IFW Global estimates that the real losses for investors could be hundreds of millions of dollars. In response, the Australian authorities plan to significantly strengthen measures to combat cryptocurrency fraud.