A joint survey conducted by European law enforcement agencies with the support of Europol and Eurojust, suppressed a large criminal network involved in investment scams and money laundering. In this business, led by Germany, authorities from Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Spain and Sweden participated. The criminal network caused losses of about 30 million euros to hundreds of victims, while only in Germany the losses amount to at least 7 million euros.
Authorities arrested 11 people (5 in Bulgaria, 1 in Israel and 5 in Spain) and surveyed twelve locations in Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, Northern Macedonia and Sweden. They confiscated many electronic devices, real estate, jewelry, vehicles and about 2 million euros in cash, while "Froze" also many bank accounts that were audited or owned by shell companies based in various European Union countries and used to launder proceeds of illicit activities.
Scammers created at least four online trading platforms which offered significant returns on investments in cryptocurrencies and high-risk options to potential investors. The criminal network has published ads for trading platforms on various social media platforms but also in search engines.
The press release issued by Europol states the following: "The criminal network has set up various online trading platforms that advertise significant profits from investments in high-risk options and cryptocurrencies. The criminal gang "ran" at least four of these seemingly professional platforms, which attracted victims through ads on social media and search engines. The members of the criminal gang presented themselves as experienced brokers when communicating with the victims through the call center they had set up. "The suspects used fake software to show the profits from the investments and to motivate the victims to invest even more."
According to the press release, 300 complaints were lodged in Spain.
Source of information: securityaffairs.co