The fraud with cryptocurrencies and binary options is flourishing on the net. The police have now hit a big blow!
The State Central Cybercrime Office of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office in Koblenz and the Criminal Inspectorate Mayen of the Koblenz Police Headquarters have been conducting extensive investigations against an international gang of fraudsters since May 2019. The gang operated investment platforms on the Internet, on which high profits were promised by investing in so-called binary options, CFDs and cryptocurrencies. The customers were looked after by call centers, particularly in Bulgaria, and made to make further payments. In recent years, many bona fide investors from Germany have been victims of the fraudsters. According to the current status of the investigations, the turnover achieved by the gang amounts to up to 150 million euros worldwide and around 30 million euros in damage to the detriment of investors.
The proceedings have so far been directed against ten suspects of different nationalities. You are urgently suspected of having placed highly professional, reputable trading platforms online with fraudulent intent. Interested financial investors were promised a low risk and a good return. Using special software, the gang believably faked active trading with the resulting price gains. In truth, according to the information available, the money was not invested, but used exclusively for its own purposes. In rare cases, supposed winnings were paid out. These are said to have only served to strengthen investor confidence in the business model and to encourage further investments. In the end, however, the victims regularly suffered total losses; in one case over 1.6 million euros.
Cryptocurrencies: International Gang!
The law enforcement authorities from Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, Sweden, North Macedonia and Poland have been asked to take action against this internationally operating gang today as part of a joint action.
On May 11, 2021, investigators from the Mayen Criminal Inspection supported the Bulgarian police on site in enforcing the request for mutual legal assistance and jointly carried out the search warrants and European arrest warrants. A call center was searched in Varna, and a broken call center was found in Sofia and also searched. In other participating countries Israel, Latvia, Sweden, North Macedonia, Spain and Poland, there were simultaneous searches of members of the gang.
The emergency services secured evidence, around 50,000 euros in cash, gold jewelry, vehicles, extensive IT, including servers, mobile phones and PCs, as well as real estate worth around four million euros and assets on accounts of two million euros so far. Furthermore, five suspects were arrested in Bulgaria on the basis of existing European arrest warrants. Another arrest warrant was carried out in Israel. One gang member is currently still on the run, search measures have been initiated. The gang members are between the ages of 32 and 65 and have German, Bulgarian, Israeli-Romanian, Polish, Danish and Belgian nationalities.
The success of the international police measures is largely due to the intensive and trusting cooperation with the foreign investigative authorities. The Public Prosecutor General Koblenz and its investigators received support from Eurojust, Europol and the Federal Criminal Police Office.
The complex investigations by the State Cybercrime Office, the Koblenz Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Mayen Criminal Inspectorate are ongoing. In order not to jeopardize the ongoing Europe-wide investigations, further details on the status of the proceedings cannot be disclosed at the moment.
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