International police operation busts Romanian ‘cybercriminal’ network

About 65 people were taken into custody and large sums of money, luxury vehicles and IT equipment when an international organised cybercrime network made up mainly of Romanian citizens was successfully taken down in Romania and France, Europol said.

The operation took place on July 16, Europol said in a July 17 statement, which said that the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) had assisted in taking down the network.

The cybercrime network is suspected of sophisticated electronic payment crimes including intrusions into international non-cash payment systems (through malware attacks), illegal worldwide financial transactions and money transfers, card data compromising (via skimming attacks), money laundering and drug trafficking. Members of this criminal network were using malware – RAT (Remote Access Tool) with key logger functionality – to take over and gain access to computers used by money transfer services all over Europe (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Norway, UK).

More than 115 individuals were interrogated and 65 detained in coordinated raids by Romanian and French law enforcement and judicial authorities, supported on the spot by EC3, Europol said.

Large sums of money, luxury vehicles, IT equipment and variety of evidence were seized during the raids. About 450 police officers were deployed to execute 117 house search warrants during the operation.

Losses incurred by the criminals’ activities are estimated to be at least two million euro, the Europol statement said.

“The proceeds of their crimes were invested in different types of property, deposited in bank accounts or transferred electronically to hide their illicit origin,” the statement alleged.

(Photo: Jakub Krechowicz/



The Sofia Globe staff

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