Law enforcement authorities in Europe take down 31 criminals forging plastic cards since 2014

16 June 2017

A criminal group of 31 perpetrators has been arrested by the European police in the course of investigation into the card skimming that defrauded about 3000 card holders of 500 thousand Euro in total. Due to coordinated efforts of the Spanish, Bulgarian and Czech law enforcement authorities the transnational criminal cartel was taken down.

The suspects had special equipment designed to create fake payment cards such as card data reading and recording devices, skimming machines, micro cameras and other tools to steal data from ATMs. The police also found cash and a great number of forged plastic cards.

In the period from 2014 through 2017 the gang has been mounting skimming devices on to the ATMs, the number of which reached on average 400 units each year, and cloned personal data from users’ payment cards. They subsequently withdraw cash from fake cards at 200 ATMs located outside the European Union. Fraudsters used to take cash in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Malaysia, Costa Rica and the Philippines

Francisco Jiménez-Villarejo, working at European agency for cooperation in criminal matters Eurojust, notes that the whole criminal network was arrested which means that they will no longer be able to misappropriate money of innocent victims. The success of the operation became possible due to frictionless joint efforts of the Spanish and Bulgarian prosecuting agencies with the support of their respective representations of Eurojust.

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