Criminal gang behind ATM physical attacks dismantled in Romania

06 April 2016
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On 6 April, the Romanian National Police and the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crimes and Terrorism (DIICOT), in cooperation with the French Police and Gendarmerie Nationale and the Spanish Policia Nacional, disrupted a criminal network responsible for physical attacks on ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) throughout Europe. Supported on-the-spot by Europol experts, the operation was preceded by extensive and complex criminal investigations coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

This operation resulted in multiple house searches in Romania (counties of Galati, Vrancea and Vaslui) and the arrest of 4 Romanian nationals under European Arrest Warrants. Active in France and other European countries in 2014-2015, the criminal network's modus operandi involved the use of sledgehammers and angle-grinders to attempt to open ATMs. The damage incurred by this criminal group's activity is estimated at EUR 790 000.

Europol supported the police forces in France, Romania and Spain in their efforts to identify suspects by hosting a number of international operational meetings and analysing intelligence. A mobile office was deployed to Romania for the action day, allowing Europol experts to assist the national authorities by providing real-time intelligence analysis aimed at identifying further transnational links.