Last week, several international law enforcement actions were in Cyprus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands. FinTelegram reported. On Monday, German law enforcement agencies and Europol disclosed the strike against a Ukraine cybercrime organization that purportedly operated around 170 broker scams, such as FX-Leader. Together with Europol, Eurojust, and local police authorities, German law enforcement agents raided offices and homes in Cyprus, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. One high-value target was arrested in Limassol, Cyprus!
Operating between May 2019 and September 2021, the scams of this cybercrime organization lured German investors into making transactions worth a total of at least € 15 million. The scammer worked with over 250 domains. The organization’s headquarters were based in Ukraine, with two large boiler rooms in Bulgaria and offices in Cyprus. According to the Europol press release, some 100 boiler room agents worked in these call centers.
Europol set up an Operational Task Force to support the cross-border investigation. During the action days, Europol deployed six experts to Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Ukraine to cross-check operational information in real-time against Europol’s databases to provide leads to investigators in the field. The experts also provided technical expertise to enable the extraction of information from mobile devices and IT infrastructure.
The action days results in numbers:
- 8 house searches (5 in Bulgaria, 1 in Cyprus, 2 in Ukraine)
- 17 individuals questioned in Bulgaria
- One high value target arrested in Cyprus
Seizures included phones, electronic equipment, bank accounts, and data backups.
Mario Krause, head of the cybercrime unit in Lower Saxony, speaks of tens of thousands of victims who have probably lost hundreds of millions of euros. In Germany alone, a loss of €15 million for small investors could be determined. Investigators are making conservative estimates of at least €500 million in total annual losses for all of Europe. The investigation has so far led to 246 criminal proceedings across 15 German federal states.