Crackdown on criminal network dealing with online investment fraud

22 January 2024|PRESS RELEASE
Flags of De BG CY SE, and logo of Europol Eurojust

Judicial and law enforcement authorities in Germany, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Sweden have carried out a coordinated action against an organised crime group suspected of online trading fraud. The network defrauded numerous victims for several millions of euros in Germany and other European countries.

During a joint action day supported by Eurojust and Europol, four suspects were arrested and thirteen places were searched.

Distressed person, phone, credit card

The suspects allegedly belong to a hierarchical criminal network with numerous members. The suspects ran several fraudulent online trading platforms from call centres and other locations in Cyprus. The perpetrators presented themselves as investment advisors and convinced victims to invest large amounts of money based on fake promises of profits.

The damage caused to German victims by the two main platforms is estimated at EUR 3.3 million and EUR 164 000, respectively. The total damage caused by the platforms is likely to be many times higher. Eurojust assisted the investigations by organising a coordination meeting and setting up a coordination centre to facilitate rapid cooperation between the judicial authorities during the joint action day. The Agency also assisted with the transmission and execution of six European Arrest Warrants and several European Investigation Orders.

Europol supported this case by hosting and financing several operational meetings as well as the action day. Furthermore, it provided analytical support and financial intelligence during the investigation. On the action day, a Europol specialist with a mobile office and a universal forensic extraction device (UFED) were deployed to Cyprus, while colleagues back in The Hague offered technical support for the virtual command post.

The following authorities took part in this investigation:

  • Germany: Public Prosecutor’s Office of Göttingen; Centre for Cybercrime, Police Göttingen
  • Bulgaria: Sofia City Public Prosecutor's Office; General Directorate Bulgarian National Police
  • Cyprus: International Police Cooperation Sub-Directorate - Police Cooperation Bureau Cyprus Police
  • Sweden: Swedish Police Authority