International police operation disrupts prolific payment card fraudsters

12 June 2012

The Hague, the Netherlands

An international organised crime group, responsible for payment card fraud and illegal online purchases, has been successfully disrupted during a raid in Romania, with the support of Europol and Eurojust.

During the final stages of the international operation in Romania, 60 police officers carried out 10 house searches, resulting in 10 arrests. Evidence seized included cash, computers, mobile phones, other electronic devices and luxury cars such as Lamborghini and Mercedes 500, which illustrates the group’s high level of income.

The raid on 6-7 June 2012 was the third action against the organised criminals who had been committing fraud for years in several EU countries. It is estimated that the group clocked up hundreds of thousands of euros in damages.

The three-year investigation by French Police[1] was supported by both Europol and Eurojust. European Arrest Warrants against the suspects were issued by French authorities. Europol supported and coordinated the investigation since the early stages, following work led by French investigators. On the day of action, Europol provided additional support through deployment of a mobile office to coordinate the international operation, and technical assistance.

Payment card fraud is a global challenge. Criminals with access to compromised payment card data distribute the data worldwide. In such cases, cross–border cooperation and coordination of international investigations is crucial to effectively tackling this problem.



    [1]  French Judicial Police Service of Lyon (PJ Lyon), Specialised Inter-regional Jurisdiction Office of Lyon (JIRS) was supported by the Service for Combating Organised Crime (CCO), the Directorate for investigation of organised crime and terrorism (DIICOT), Directorate for combating organised Crime-Cyber Crime Unit.