The Hague, 17 April 2019
The Romanian national authorities, in close cooperation with the Dutch national authorities and with the active support of Eurojust, dismantled an organised crime group (OCG) involved in cybercrime, fraud and organised property crime causing damages estimated at €2 million for the period 2017-2019. During the joint action day, a coordination centre was set up at Eurojust, which allowed for real-time exchange of information between the authorities. Overall, today, 46 houses and several trucks were searched, 6 suspects were identified and presented before the Romanian prosecutor, 14 witnesses were heard, and telephones, laptops, forged ID documents and licence plates, as well as stolen goods, were seized.
In March 2018, the Pitesti Territorial Office of the Directorate for Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) initiated an investigation into the OCG, which was mainly composed of Romanian nationals. The OCG was mostly active in the Netherlands, as well as in Romania and several other Member States.
The members of the OCG ‘spoofed’ (slightly modified) real e-mail addresses of cargo companies, pretending to be the companies’ representatives. They then received offers for cargo services from various victims, signed the counterfeit contracts, and scheduled the date and place of the cargo delivery. Once they received the cargo, the members of the OCG appropriated the prepayment for the cargo service and the cargo itself, using forged documents and vehicles with fake licence plates. The stolen cargo, which was later resold within the European Union at a considerably lower price, contained a variety of goods, ranging from solar panels to aluminium bars and clothing.
Eurojust provided for smooth and effective cooperation by organising two coordination meetings and by facilitating the drafting, transmission and execution of several European Investigation Orders and mutual legal assistance requests issued by Romania towards the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland.