Our friends from Eurojust announced that it had coordinated a follow-up enforcement action against a cybercrime organization that defrauded mainly German-speaking online investors via legal entities operating from Bulgaria, Ukraine, and other countries. Their binary options, crypto, and forex scams promised huge profits on their websites and consequently defrauded at least 350 victims of approximately €8,5 million. In the enforcement action, five suspects were arrested in Bulgaria. In the same case, in December 2020 in Ukraine, €50 million in luxury cars and goods were seized, and in April last year, nine suspects were arrested in Bulgaria and Serbia.
Investigations into this cybercrime organization started in 2019 by the General Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) of Bamberg, Germany, following complaints from hundreds of victims in Germany, Austria, and other European countries. Thelates law enforcement action in Bulgaria was carried out by agencies in Germany, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine:
- it was led by the Bavarian Central Office for the Prosecution of Cybercrime at the Bamberg General PPO and the Criminal Investigation Department Bamberg.
- In Bulgaria, the action day was prepared and coordinated by the Specialised Prosecutor’s Office. The five EAWs were simultaneously executed by the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office, Pernik District Prosecutor’s Office, and Blagoevgrad District Prosecutor’s Office.
- In Ukraine pre-trial investigations of criminal proceedings are carried out under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor General’s Office by the Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine, with operational support of the Department of Strategic Investigations of the National Police of Ukraine.
Eurojust supported the operation by facilitating the execution of European Investigation Orders and European Arrest Warrants (EAWs), helping to organise and enabling the cooperation during the action day. Furthermore, assistance was provided with the coordination of investigations and the execution of requests for Mutual Legal Assistance from Germany to Ukraine, which lead to a successful action day in Ukraine in December 2020.