Europol hold nine over €90m investment fraud
09 Apr 2020

An international crime ring that conned hundreds of people out of millions of pounds has been broken up in police raids across Bulgaria and Serbia.

Nine people were arrested in an operation co-ordinated by Europol and conducted by police in the two countries, as well as in Germany and Austria.

A German bank account containing €10 million was seized and 30 others put under surveillance. Officials estimate that the gang may have stolen €80 million in Austria and more from hundreds of people in Germany.

The suspects cold-called on behalf of nine bogus websites claiming to offer investment opportunities with little risk and full insurance. Once an investment was made the sites appeared to show that they were making high returns, and victims were encouraged to deposit more. They would seem to lose the investment but their money was laundered through shell companies.

“The truth is there is no investment or placement of options and no repayment or profit distribution of investor funds,” the German police said. “The deposits are never added to an investment, the trading platform visible to the customer as well as the alleged customer account are pure deception.”

By Hannah Lucinda Smith, The Times, 9 April 2020

Read more at The Times

Photo: OSeveno [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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