‘Operation Neptune’: Europol arrests Bulgarian citizens for credit card skimming

Written by on November 30, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on ‘Operation Neptune’: Europol arrests Bulgarian citizens for credit card skimming

Europol has arrested four Bulgarian nationals suspected of running an organised crime group specialised in compromising credit card data and illegal transactions. The arrests took place today, as part of an international endeavour called ‘Operation Neptune’.

The operation was run by the Italian Carabinieri. But the Bulgarian General Directorate of Combating Organised Crime and the National Police of Czechia were part of it too.

According to Europol, the suspects actively supervised all stages of the crimes their illegal organisation committed. This included placing technical equipment in Automated Teller Machines in Europe and producing counterfeit credit cards.

The group stole cash from ATMs all over Europe, but also in Belize, Indonesia and Jamaica. Europol identified dozens of ATMs the group tampered with, while seizing more than 1,000 counterfeit credit cards.

Europol said the investigation into this criminal organisation started in 2015. The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, which is part of Europol, supported the coordination and the exchange of intelligence.

A statement on ‘Operation Neptune’ said, a key factor for dismantling this crime group was the close police cooperation between the participating countries.

Parts of the Bulgarian mafia are known to be specialised in credit card skimming. On a regular basis, media report about the arrest of Bulgarian nationals in South America and on other continents, because of similar accusations.

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com