Europol Busts Major Crime Ring, Arrests Over 100 Online Fraudsters

Law enforcement agencies in Italy and Spain have dismantled an organized crime group linked to the Italian Mafia that was involved in online fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, and property crime, netting the gang about €10 million ($11.7 million) in illegal proceeds in just a year.

“The suspects defrauded hundreds of victims through phishing attacks and other types of online fraud such as SIM swapping and business email compromise before laundering the money through a wide network of money mules and shell companies,” Europol said in a statement published today.

The group operated out of Tenerife, located in Spain’s Canary Islands.

The development comes following a year-long sting operation that saw as many as 16 house searches, resulting in 106 arrests β€” mostly in Spain and Italy β€” and seizure of electronic devices, 224 credit cards, SIM cards, point-of-sale terminals, a marijuana plantation, and equipment used for its cultivation and distribution. 118 bank accounts have also been frozen as a result of the bust.

The criminal network is said to have been fashioned as a pyramid structure, with different members roped in for specialized roles, including computer…

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