An investigation lasting more than a year into an organised group of Bulgarian criminals committing credit card fraud, has been successfully finalised. Seven arrests were made last week in Italy(3) and Bulgaria(4). In total 25 persons involved in the scam have been arrested with an additional 21 persons detained and charged. 250 skimming devices, 2000 blank credit cards and more than 50.000 euros in cash have been confiscated. The operation was coordinated by the Comando Carabinieri Antifalsificazione Monetaria with the support of the Cybercrime department of the Bulgarian State Agency for the National Security (SANS).
The criminals were highly organised and they were travelling across the world to fraudulently obtain cash from ATM’s using data which they had obtained via skimming devices in different European countries. Fraudulent withdrawals were committed in Indonesia, the USA, Bali, the Dominican Republic and Kenya.
Europol played a key role in the investigation by deploying on-the-spot specialists from the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)’s Operation Terminal to assist with in depth analysis of itemised phone bills and hard disk drives linked to the criminal gang. In addition, three operational meetings were organised to plan arrests relating to the key individuals within the organisation- an objective which was achieved with much success as the entire gang was dismantled.