Europol takes action against money laundering

Status: 01.12.2021 6:06 p.m.

The European police authority speaks of the largest international operation of its kind: 27 countries were involved – including Germany. It was about a special form of money laundering.

International investigators have cracked down on money laundering with raids around the world. According to Europol, the actions took place between mid-September and the end of November. In addition to Germany, other EU countries as well as Great Britain, the USA, Australia and Colombia were also involved – a total of 27 countries. As the European police authority in The Hague announced, the operation prevented damage amounting to 67.5 million euros. Around 400 banks and financial institutions were also involved in the three-month campaign and reported suspicious transactions to Europol and the international police authority Interpol.

More than 1,800 arrests worldwide

1803 suspects were arrested worldwide. According to the information, that was more than four times as many as in a comparable international deployment last year. The focus of the investigation was therefore the so-called “money muling”. Criminals often recruit unsuspecting people in financial distress – for example on dating platforms, on social media or through job advertisements that appear serious.

These “money mules” would then be used for dubious transfers. Specifically, according to Europol, people are being persuaded to make personal accounts available for receiving and transferring money from criminal sources.

Money came from online fraud, for example

According to the investigators, the money to be laundered often comes from criminal activities on the Internet. This included withdrawals from the victims’ accounts, whose access data were obtained by the perpetrators with the help of so-called phishing emails. According to Europol, fraud in the area of ​​e-commerce is one of them: for example, criminals cashed in for goods offered online that were never delivered.

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